The management of Rutherford’s Bradford Hotel have unveiled plans for a $1million expansion program that will have a strong emphasis on family.
Owned by the O’Hara Group, a development application for the Bradford’s expansion was approved by Maitland City Council at a meeting last week.
The O’Hara Group owns several hotels across Sydney, Newcastle, the Central Coast and Hunter including the Windsor Castle at East Maitland.
Owner and O’Hara Group area manager Nicholas Quinn said the latest round of improvements will include a children’s playground, outdoor beer garden with cabanas and an extension of the hotel’s poker machine area.
It will also include enclosing the existing covered sports bar on the eastern side of the hotel and constructing new outdoor deck.
Mr Quinn said the expansion is testimony to the Rutherford, Aberglasslyn and McKeachies growing communities.
“We want to have a 100 per cent family focus,” Mr Quinn said.
“It’s usually the female who makes the decisions in most families and if you keep the kids happy you keep them happy too,” he said.
He hopes work can start in the next few weeks and is aiming for a Christmas completion date.
The latest round of improvements comes almost 12 months after the O’Hara Group purchased the hotel for an undisclosed sum from a Maitland consortium.
The pub also underwent a major refurb in December 2015. That $1million improvement program included the installation of the Hunter’s biggest flat screen TV (4.6 by 2.4 metres) and seating accommodation for an additional 200 diners.
Under the new plans a total of 21 car parking spaces will be lost but will be replaced with 27 new spaces on the hotel’s grassed area which fronts the New England Highway.
The Bradford opened in October 2007.
The hotel was part of a $17 million project which also included a motel and conference centre which are now both separate business entities.
The hotel was named after Bradford Cotton Mills, an early incarnation of Bradmill and then National Textiles, once one of the city’s biggest employers, located just a stone’s throw from the New England Highway hotel.
At last week’s council meeting the development application was recommended by council planners for approval.
West Ward councillor Ken Wethered moved the planners’ recommendation and said it was great to see the hotel growing and accommodating the needs of local residents.