29/03/2005 - 22:00

Funky Fridays on fire at Hydrant

29/03/2005 - 22:00

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The owners of Hydrant, the new bar and cafe located opposite the fire station on Hay Street, plan to strike a blow for what they consider to be an entertainment imbalance on the east side of the CBD.

Funky Fridays on fire at Hydrant

The owners of Hydrant, the new bar and cafe located opposite the fire station on Hay Street, plan to strike a blow for what they consider to be an entertainment imbalance on the east side of the CBD.

The funky centre is at the heart of the Mecure Hotel’s $7 million refurbishment and has enjoyed three exciting weeks since opening, according to general manager Scott Davies.

“It’s a new place to go this end of town,” Mr Davies says. “And with the location – it’s so easy to say ‘opposite the fire station’, everyone knows where that is.”

Redeveloping Mecure’s old Top Bar into Hydrant was the first step in a planned revamp for the hotel. With this project, reception areas and the Tonic Bar will be overhauled and the construction of a new restaurant named Ten will complete renovations by May.

Describing the changes as “long overdue” for the hotel, sales and marketing coordinator Mary Markotis told Gusto “the Top Bar was quite old and small”.

“It had a small crowd confined to just its regulars, and it was a lot smaller. We have had a lot of the locals come out of the woodwork now that there is somewhere in this area to go to,” Mrs Markotis says.

Hydrant is a new marketing direction for the Mecure Hotel. Targeting the younger, after-work crowd has meant pushing the venue’s colourful atmosphere, fed by its location next to the fire station.

“There is definitely a link to the station,” Mrs Markotis says when describing Hydrant’s March promotion.

“Every time the sirens would go off next door, we would ring our bell and everyone would receive a free drink voucher. We were averaging six times a day.

“All the guys from FESA (Fire and Emergency Services of Western Australia) have been great about it.”

Hydrant also participated in the City of Perth Food and Wine Culture in March. The cocktail and homemade gelato pairing by chef Nicholas De Clerk was so well received, Mrs Markotis says, that it will be extended through April.

Mr De Clerk’s food changes daily and incorporates a variety of fresh local produce used to create homemade pizzas, salads and light snacks.

The atmosphere at Hydrant on Friday DJ nights is described as ‘very funky’. Featuring Hydrant’s resident DJ, the strategy is aimed squarely at a new, younger demographic and has quickly become the venue’s most popular event of the week.

It is also important, as Mrs Markotis suggests, to tap-in to the lucrative Saturday and Sunday retail crowd.

While events such as this may suggest a focus on the leisure side of the market, Mr Davies feels that Hydrant lends itself to the needs of the corporate sector as well.

Highlighting the fact that business areas east of the CBD have the same needs as those on the terrace, he says areas around Hay and Irwin streets look very exciting for entertainment.

 “You don’t have the same type of retail shopping here as you do elsewhere, but with the new Court Project going up across the road this area is going to be great” he says. It is developments such as this that Mr Davies hopes will join Hydrant in dispelling the belief that the east side of the city is lacking soul.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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