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Pizza’s on the menu as Demo reno on track

Friday, 18th March, 2016

Demo General Manager Karren Howe (left) with Merlot Construction’s site foreman Sean Westaway, project manager Andrew Carey, John Lehman from John and Cathy Lehman Plumbing, and Dustin Stephens from Sumtin Electrical. Demo General Manager Karren Howe (left) with Merlot Construction’s site foreman Sean Westaway, project manager Andrew Carey, John Lehman from John and Cathy Lehman Plumbing, and Dustin Stephens from Sumtin Electrical.

By Emily Roberts

Work on the Democratic Club’s new function room and cafe is proceeding apace.

The old Video Ezy building is being renovated for the new facilities and looks set to be finished by the end of April, according to the club’s general manager Karren Howe.

“The painting and the ceiling is done,” Ms Howe said.

“The wood fire pizza oven has just been installed and the tiling is done.

“The joinery will arrive next week and the kitchen is set to be installed the week after that.

“We are onboard for finishing by the end of April.”

Mrs Howe said the function room was already proving popular.

“We have quite a few bookings for May,” she said. “There have been a lot of inquiries.

“I think the timing has been good, as the Civic Centre will close for its renovations around the time we finish. It worked well.”

The project has seen buildings on either side of the club demolished or converted into new amenities for members and guests.

The function centre and cafe will be known as “Thyme on Argent”.

The cafe will specialise in wood-fired pizza and pasta, and will double as a wine and tapas bar by night.

To the rear is the large function room that can cater for up to 200 people, and can also split into two smaller rooms.

On the south-west side of the club, the former BBQ Inn building has been demolished, and a new two-storey office for club administration will be constructed.

The current administration area will be used to house the new entrance foyer, an extension to the gaming area including new poker machines, and a new sports bar and oriental restaurant. 

The bar and restaurant will cater to a more upmarket demographic, and feature a variety of Asian food with the possibility of new options onto the menu. 

The meals system will be flexible, and patrons will not be required to order from the area where they are seated.

“The toilets will be all sustainable, with plans to cut back on paper usage and no doors going in to prevent the spread of germs,” Mrs Howe said.

“We will have sensor lights in the toilets, as it could be an hour before anyone goes in there.”

She said they also expect to take on 10 to 15 new staff at a minimum.

“Some staff from the club will come over, including managers and cooks,” Mrs Howe said. “Then we will employ more.

“We hope to do that after Easter, so we can get the training done before we open.

“A lot of the staff may be casual but the cafe will need seven to eight staff.

“We’re just in the process of looking everything over.”

Mrs Howe spoke highly of all the contractors on the project.

“It’s been great. All the contractors have been amazing and so easy to work with,” she said.

“The majority of contractors are local or from Mildura. About two per cent are outside of these areas.

“We are pretty excited to see it all coming together, especially now you can see all the visual aspects.”

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