Iconic Brisbane pub gets new lease on life using Cemintel’s durable, prefinished materials

Built in 1850, The Royal George Hotel in Brisbane has a long and eventful history. Located in the centre of the thriving nightlife precinct, Fortitude Valley, “RG’s” is a hive of activity and entertainment from Thursday to Sunday.

But with constant crowds testing the resilience of the décor, RG’s owner, Les Pullos, wanted to give his beloved pub a sustainable facelift, using robust yet stylish products that could stand up to the throngs of people having a fun night out.

“The product needed to look good, needed to be durable, and needed to be cleanable,” says Les.

“We’re just a normal busy bar and it’s just a fact of life that people spill drinks, lean on walls, and there might be a hamburger that doesn’t quite stay on the plate. We knew that whatever product we used had to have that durability.”

To meet this brief, builder Dave Ziebell from Quality Innovative Constructions, recommended Cemintel’s Territory Urban Grey.

A natural yet contemporary option, Urban Grey has the raw concrete look, which is increasingly popular in residential and commercial design. The pre-finished panels are protected with NichiGuard coating, which has an anti-staining, self-cleaning function.

“Between people bumping into walls and the sugar in the alcohol – which eats away at paint – we were looking for strong products that didn’t need painting,” Dave says.

“We used the Territory Urban Grey cladding sheets on the front of the bar and we back-angled it, so spilled drinks would be less likely to hit – but even if they did, we knew this product would be able to withstand it.”

Another complicating factor in the pub renovation was time, which is why Cemintel’s innovative fixing system was key.

“We couldn’t shut down the entire pub for the renovation, it had to be worked around – so the installation window was really limited,” says Dave.

“The fixing system of the Cemintel cladding was critical to us getting this job completed in the short time frame. Another big thing was that no wall in the whole place was level or plumb, and the benefit of the fixing system is that you can pack it out to get a straight wall.”

With such an old building, the renovation had to maintain heritage-listed features while integrating modern aspects that the hotel’s millennial-generation clientele expect.

“In any renovation you’ve got to think outside the box, you’ve got to make it blend in a way that looks good and complements the original character of the place,” Dave says.

“We redid the whole front façade and the whole upstairs of the building, but small things inside like the colonial archways were maintained, repainted and integrated with the refurbishment.”

Dave says he was impressed, not just with the ease of installation, but also with the overall effect of the cladding products.

“It definitely boosted the design. Even while we were still working people walking past were commenting on how great it looked. The Urban Grey product really enhances the lighting and the greenery we’ve used as well. It’s got its own texture but it really complements the environment around it.”

Meanwhile, Les is confident the pub’s new look is working wonders to draw in more customers.

“It’s been very well received and we’re definitely doing more business because of the revamp. We’ve had lots of great comments, mostly about the clean modern look that it gives. It’s done exactly what I wanted it to do,” he concludes.

Builder:
  • Quality Innovative Constructions
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