It’s been nearly two years since Julie Peter started work on The Uraidla Hotel, and the venue has come a long way from the abandoned shambles she started with in January 2016.
Getting the pub to its current state involved tearing up a substantial amount of linoleum, old carpet and false ceilings, as well as the removal of the pokies. But now Peter sees it as a strong marker of the Adelaide Hills’ reinvention.
“I like to think that we’re the centre,” she laughs, “as the pub always is. I’m just excited to see whatever else is coming into the area, evolving in the area.”
Rather than just waiting to see what the evolution will bring, Peter is actively introducing the new guard, with a project next door to The Uraidla that will see a building which once housed squash courts become a bakery, café and brewery.
The bakery, headed up by James Katsarelias from Nettle and Knead, will supply the café (which will be named The Uraidla Republic), as well as selling to The Uraidla Hotel and the other pubs with which Peter and her business partners, The Matthews Group, are involved.
Similarly, she expects the food offerings of the café and the pub next door will work symbiotically.
“We’ll have a breakfast menu [at the cafe]; we’re looking at that now, because we don’t do breakfast here,” Peter says
“We’ll have pastries, little cakes and things that he [Katsarelias] bakes – pies and pasties.”
She hopes it will appeal to tradies or people on their way to work down Greenhill Road who want to pick up a takeaway coffee or pasty, as well as offering “a little lunch selection that doesn’t compete too much with the hotel, because we don’t want to create another pub next door”.
The brewery, which will be headed up by Oscar Matthews, formerly of Pirate Life and California-based brewery Slo Brew, is an aspect that Peter had planned for in the early stages of taking over The Uraidla. She designed the pub’s logo with the idea that it could eventually be adapted for a beer label.
“We just thought it would be fun to have our own label, and again distribute it through the other hotels that we’re involved in,” she says.
“He [Oscar] is an avid craft beer guy, and he’s just come back from the States, brewing over there. So he’ll be the one managing all of that.”
As for the pub’s place in the Hills community, Peter says the nature of establishments like The Uraidla is changing, going back to the roots of what a pub was always supposed to be.
“I think the focus has shifted from, ‘Oh, we’ll just go and have a drink’, or very male-dominated drinking culture, to families, to women, to everybody enjoying their food, enjoying a better glass of wine, a better glass of beer, in an environment that’s enjoyable.
“People are now interested in the provenance of their food. A few years ago, they probably weren’t so much, and the focus of a pub is more around the food, I think.
“For us, we’re trying to provide different points of interest; gardens to walk around in, places for kids to run around. If someone’s interested in beer, they can have a beer, while their partner might want a coffee, take the kids for a walk.”
The Uraidla Republic and The Uraidla Bakery will be open from November 4 from 7am to 4pm, and the brewery is slated to begin brewing toward the end of the year. Stay tuned to The Uraidla’s Facebook page for updates.
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