NEWCASTLE'S Star Hotel is reborn once again.
The iconic pub closed its doors last year but re-opened three weeks ago under new ownership for a soft lunch, following a renovation and refurbishment that aims to return the venue to its former glory as a traditional pub.
A large wall mural featuring historic photos from the hotel and Newcastle will be installed inside the venue.
"We have taken it back to more of that traditional pub atmosphere," licensee Rod Holloway tells Weekender.
"We want to get back to celebrating the history of the pub and making it a locals-based venue."
Getting back to the pub's roots means hosting live music every weekend and fortnightly open mic comedy nights, as well as offering a menu centred around pub classics with daily specials on offer.
The current menu offers classics like chicken schnitzel with a choice of toppers, burgers, and mains including pan-fried salmon and pork chops.
The starters menu offers marinated chicken wings ($14); spicy squid ($18); chicken tenderloins with BBQ, aioli, chipotle or buffalo sauce ($16), and mac and cheese bites with aioli or blue cheese sauce ($16).
A daily lunch specials menu is available with options including cheeseburger, fish and chips, chicken wrap, chicken wings and Caesar salad, all for $12 each.
University students can show their student ID card to enjoy $5 burgers, $10 chicken schnitzels and $5 mini beers (a shot of amber-coloured Liquor 43 topped with whipped cream and served in a mini stein glass) from Monday to Friday.
A full menu will launch in the coming weeks with the addition of ribs, steak and pizzas, gluten-free and vegan options, as well as a weekday breakfast menu and weekend brunch menu.
"We are also planning events like a Brazilian weekend with live music and a special menu as well as an American barbecue event once we are fully operational," Holloway says.
The Star's history is well-documented.
It became a part of Newcastle folklore in 1979 after thousands rioted on the streets and fought against police, throwing bottles and setting cars alight as chaos broke out after the closure of the pub.
The venue was in its heyday at the time, renowned for hosting live music six days a week and attracting patrons from all walks of life. It became legendary enough for Aussie rock band Cold Chisel to write a song about it.
Holloway himself has a long history of running pubs and, after eight years out of the game, he wanted to get back to what he loves most and went on the hunt to find the right location for his latest venture.
Newcastle came calling.
"I was actually looking in Sydney for a venue and when I came across the Star Hotel it just made sense to me," Holloway says. "I know the song [Star Hotel], I know the history of the venue ... everyone seems to have a story about The Star."
At a glance
- Location: 410 King Street, Newcastle.
- Drinks: Wine list of bubbles, reds, whites and rose, six beers on tap including Peroni, Balter, 4 Pines and Pirate Life plus a wide selection of mainstream and craft bottled beer, and Brookvale Union ginger beer and boozy grapefruit seltzer on tap. Happy hour runs from 3pm to 6pm on weekdays.
- Food: Full menu launches later this month. Current options include mains, starters, pub classics and a kids menu. Daily lunchtime specials available for $12.
- Drink to try: $10 cocktails available from 5pm to 9pm daily including margarita, French martini, espressos martini, Aperol spritz, Moscow mule, mojito and cosmopolitan.
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