The Goulburn Workers Club is embarking on its largest expansion in 11 years with the proposed addition of a new restaurant/cafe and upgraded kitchen.
If approved, the project would adaptively re-use and upgrade an 1887 adjoining Auburn Street building.
A development application lodged with Goulburn Mulwaree Council proposes partial internal demolition of 232 Auburn Street on the club's southern aspect. The facade would be retained and rejuvenated. A rear storage shed and a section of the existing restaurant would also be demolished to accommodate the new fit-out, greater kitchen storage space and a children's activity area.
While the application proposes The Goulburn Workers Club Asian Kitchen, CEO Brett Gorham says it's early days.
"There's nothing confirmed yet on whether it will be an Asian restaurant. We are investigating a number of avenues," he said.
"The biggest thing is we need to upgrade and expand the back of house and dining area but while we're doing that, we'll look at the footprint and the whole dining experience."
Mr Gorham said the kitchen and its equipment were a "few decades old."
Plans also propose the floor's removal and reinstatement to match the club's, new heritage galvanised roofing, removal of the anodised aluminium shopfront, installation of a sliding door and four steel- framed windows featuring sprung arch heads, fixed glazing and groove cladding facing Auburn Street.
Consultants, Studio Nine, said this would activate Auburn Street and provide patrons an additional entry.
Mr Gorham said the development and fit-out were loosely estimated to cost $5 million to $6m.
It follows wholesale extensions in the early 2000s and a complete internal refurbishment in 2012.
"If it's approved, it will be very exciting," he said.
The building is listed as a local heritage item and sits within Goulburn's heritage conservation area.
It was designed by prolific Goulburn architect, EC Manfred in 1886 for Collector grazier, Thomas Waddell, according to Goulburn Heritage Group (GHG) member, Linda Cooper.
Waddell was also a NSW MP from 1887 to 1917, a former NSW treasurer and the state's premier for two months in 1904. In addition, he served in the NSW Upper House from 1917 to 1934.
Mrs Cooper said Waddell never occupied the building. Goulburn's 1890 rates showed W Walker as the tenant, and from about 1890, tailor William Bladwell. He was still there by 1936.
Early photos show Bladwell and his daughter standing in the doorway and inside, long cedar serving counters.
"During the 1950s the upper balustrade was removed with minor alterations to update the building's appearance in line with the (nearby) Royal Hotel's modernisation," the document stated.
A new shopfront including sliding doors was added in the 1970s.
Though vacant for the three years, it was consistently used for retail including gift store, Something Special, Anglicare's 'Purple Patch' charity shop and 'The Dress Up Palace.'
Mrs Cooper said Manfred also designed the adjoining Trevitt's Pharmacy building in 1887. Another structure, the old Joppa Tea Rooms, on the northern side of 232 Auburn Street, was demolished to make way for the Workers Club's extensions in the early 2000s.
"(Number 232 Auburn Street) has a touch or art nouveau and is one of Manfred's plainer designs but still has a presence in the street," Mrs Cooper said.
"GHG has no objection to the partial demolition and we're really happy to see adaptive re-use of the building."
"We want to maintain the building's street presence, keep the facade and its appeal," he said.
The project's timing is dependent on costings but Mr Gorham says it won't be left too long.
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