The Komo Hotel, overlooking beautiful Moreton Bay at Redcliffe, is due to reopen next week after a $3 million renovation. We take a look inside.
Work is just about finished on the hotel, at Marine Pde, ahead of its scheduled reopening on April 20 (subject to final licensing and approvals).
Queensland Regional Manager Leisure for Lewis Land Group Chris Allison has been overseeing the project which began almost six months ago and can’t wait to share the new-look venue with customers.
The changes include a new and improved terrace, which better frames stunning views of Moreton Bay out to Moreton Island, a refurbed main bar and lounge, new gaming area and sports bar, and charcoal rotisserie in the kitchen. The nightclub has been removed to create a more welcoming sports bar.
“We’ve brought the level of the external terrace up by about a foot and lowered the gardens to celebrate the view more. We’ve pretty much captured the entire foreshore over Moreton Bay now and it sits perfectly under the roof of the pergola and frames the vista,” Mr Allison says.
Key to the design is creating smaller areas within the overall floorplan, which appeal to the growing casual events market.
“It might be a 40th birthday in the northern booth or a christening or baby shower in the outside terrace garden,” he says.
“We’ve been able to give people their own piece of a larger space and that’s a really valuable commodity these days. That’s what people are looking for.”
The look and feel is softer and embraces the seaside location.
“The gardens are little bit ‘Palm Springs’ with the succulents there. It was about making the space, as soft and pretty as it is, it was about making it a pub per se. The old Komo was great, but I felt more like I was checking into resort, when I walked in here,” Mr Allison says.
“You can go into the sports bar or come into the main bar and lounge and be wearing a variety of clothing – you could come from the lagoon with your board shorts on, you could come out for the night for someone’s birthday in a cocktail dress and heels and not feel uncomfortable.
“To us, that’s what diversity is. It's diversity of type of patron that comes into the venue but contradictory to that is consistency. You can be diverse but you need to the same thing on a Monday lunch or a Saturday night.
“People have to be able to trust you, they have to know the product is good and the service and staff are going to be great and we run our hotels by removing as many barriers as we can in that sense.”
“We don’t like creating rules and creating reasons for people not to come. It’s similar to the Belvedere – just come on down, you don’t need to book. We want to create that feeling for locals and tourists that they know they can come anytime and they’re going to get a great meal, a cold drink and the staff are going to be nice, the bathrooms are going to be good. It’s a beautiful space, it’s got a great outlook, it’s iconic to the peninsula as well.”
“That was a big attraction to us. We’ve got this beautiful sunrise now (here) and sunset at the Belvedere. We’re really interested in seeing people come to the Redcliffe peninsula and when we get more accommodation, if we can get people to stay for a night, that’s going to completely change the local economy,” he says.
Customers will be able to order food from anywhere within the hotel and there have been big changes to the menu.
“The food concept is probably the biggest change. There’s a charcoal rotisserie and it’s the only one of its kind in the region. It’s something in Sydney that’s very popular,” Mr Allison says.
“The flavour and quality of the meat and proteins you get it absolutely delicious. It’s all about having that little thing you’re synonymous with. People might say the Belvedere, and think of the sunset or the beer towers. We wanted to add something to The Komo.”
He says new grills have been added to the kitchen and the focus will be on ‘doing pretty simple food really well’.
“Lots of colours and zesty flavours and really good proteins. It’s really about being able to do that 1000 times a day and do it really consistently,” Mr Allison says.
Customers will be able to see the charcoal rotisserie and chefs in action from their tables.
“The move towards open kitchens in the past 10-15 years has been obvious but flames and theatre is what people come to pubs for,” he says.
“You take the meat, if it’s chicken or lamb or pork off the rotisserie and put it down there in front of everyone and prepare it – there’s an element of trust there. People can see what’s going on there and can’t wait until it comes out.”
Another notable addition is a large mural featuring pink flowers and a pelican wearing sunglasses. It’s a nod to the hotel’s location and home.
“We were keen to have flora or fauna that represented the peninsula in some way. We have the pink flowers for Komo and the pelican represents Redcliffe,” Mr Allison says.
The pelican has been named Koko following a promotion on social media. Some of the suggestions from customers included Priscilla and Pelton John.
“In the end, there were multiple people who suggested Koko from Komo. That (mural) will make a great backdrop for people’s most important events in their life whether it’s weddings or 40ths of end-of-life celebrations or whatever it might be,” he says.
The Komo is due to reopen on April 20, subject to final licensing and approvals.
Mr Allison says it will be a soft opening, with the venue to open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Breakfast will be available from Tuesday, April 27.
“We just want to get it started, get customers in and start doing what we know. It’s been a long wait to do what we do best. I can’t wait,” he says.
“It’s a beautiful place and we believe in it.”
The hotel opened in 2011 and has undercover carparking for 95 vehicles. There is lift access for prams and wheelchairs.
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