Hotel Darwin's Reinvention

Wednesday, 13 July 2016 2:37 PM

We know Darwin is the city of reinvention. What other Australian capital city has been built twice over from the ravages of bombing and a cyclone? In fact, our city has to reinvent itself every six months with the ebb and flow of the population in wet and dry. In his adopted city (he’s originally from WA), Brett Lubicz, new Manager of Hotel Darwin, took this spirit of reinvention literally.

In eight weeks, he has given the 1940s Hotel a fresh look and feel, overhauled the menu and set about carving a live entertainment identity at the far end of the Mitchell Street bar strip.

“Darwin’s population is the youngest of any major city in the country,” said Brett, “We have the highest per capita beer consumption in the world too, so the pub life is really strong here. The Hotel Darwin always had a good patronage from regulars and we want to maintain this as well as show that we have changed. Out with the strip club and in with great live music.”

“We noticed the absence of venues hosting local, original songwriters and performers. So that became our niche. In the early weeks we had to bring bands like seven-piece Soul Corporation up from Perth, which worked wonderfully on the Saturday night they played, 100 people were in the band room. So we knew the formula was right.

The biggest challenge is the small population, which means fewer musicians to choose from. Despite that, we have filled our Friday/Saturday roster now and its paying dividends. We have 80 in our band room every Saturday night.

Darwin artists like Pole Top Rescue, who recently performed on Channel 7’s Sunrise to launch their new album Rhymes and Riddles, perform covers as well as their original songs at Hotel Darwin every fortnight.”

The 600 registered APRA AMCOS members in the NT now have a new place to call home.

Hotel Darwin holds a Live Artist Performances licence and a Background Music licence with APRA AMCOS.


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