Browse Directory

Great Northern Hotel to reopen


Plans are underway to reopen Newcastle heritage gem the Great Northern Hotel on November 1,

The opening will coincide with the Melbourne Cup and the city’s Supercars weekend.

The hotel has been as plagued by legal battles, closures and building issues dating back to before the 1989 earthquake but work is finally underway fitting out the art deco hotel’s ground-floor bar.

“The site was a hive of activity,” development manager and former owner Kurt Braune told the Newcastle Herald. He had just handed over the keys to new publican Ben McBeath.

“With Ben’s team of builders and contractors getting stuck into the refurbishment, it’s a bittersweet moment for me, but it’s time to hand over to the next operator and start a new chapter in the hotel’s story.”

“I’ve had so many great memories in the heyday of running the pub, but now it’s so exciting to be part of the revitalisation of Newcastle.”

Mr Braune will be in charge of the hotel’s refurbishment on behalf of Sydney-based developer Bass Elhashem.

He aims to complete the entire $20 million development, which includes 88 rooms in the 80-year-old hotel and 21 serviced apartments in a modern annex next door.

The hotel will also have a rooftop bar, a rooftop pool on the annex and reviving the plush first-floor lounge popular in the 1980s.

The plan is to get council approval to start work on the rest of the building next week but he says light rail construction in Scott Street would probably delay the project for at least a month. 

He says the owners are now negotiating with an international chain to operate the hotel as a boutique, five-star operation.

Mr McBeath runs The ArtHouse Hotel restaurant in Sydney’s CBD.

He says he has “great expectations” of the Newcastle venture. 

“Our timing could not be better, and once the accommodation rooms come on line this venue will be one of the best food, beverage and accommodation facilities in the country,” he told the Newcastle Herald.


18 July 2018