The COVID-19 pandemic is not the ideal time to be preparing to start a new business venture, but Adam Hardy says he is looking at the positives.
The Hunter brewer has spent the past several months planning, fitting-out and preparing to open a new inner-city microbrewery-bar in Newcastle.
Mr Hardy, who founded the craft beer label Rogue Scholar Brewing in Maitland, plans to open the brew-pub selling beer made at the premises on Union Street - between King and Hunter streets - this year.
He told the Newcastle Herald that the fit-out of the bar part of the facility was all but finished and he was in the process of sorting out the final aspects of the development application in relation to the kitchen and brewery.
The liquor license was granted about a month ago and the brewing equipment has mostly been loaded in - the fermenters went in last week.
Four hand pumps were being installed in recent days and 10 beer taps have been mounted on the wall behind the copper-top bar, with 1950s bus seats used for the booths.
"[The brewery] is ready to be installed and commissioned," Mr Hardy said.
"In terms of the bar part itself, it's tracking along really well.
"All the essentials for a bar are in place."
Once the development application is approved, Mr Hardy said he was confident he could pull everything together to open within a month.
But he said the COVID-19 situation was something he needed to consider.
While the pandemic meant keg sales for Rogue Scholar beer "basically ground to a halt", Mr Hardy said he was focusing on the positives.
"The upside was, it gave me more time to do the fit-out," he said.
"I probably saved some money there because I could get in and do a lot of the work I may not have been able to do because I would have been tied up brewing."
Coronavirus restrictions are something Mr Hardy says he will keep in mind when settling on an opening date.
"I'd have to look at how that was tracking," he said.
"Being a new venue, we really want to hit the ground running. If there are still some restrictions in place or there's a spike and they put more restrictions in, we may just hang off.
"We'd like people to be able to enjoy the venue in its full capacity."
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