Melbas makeover

SEP 2010

The new owners of long-established Surfers’ nightspot Melbas on the Park have completed a $3.2 million refurbishment of its upstairs bar and nightclub.

The popular nightclub ran into financial difficulties last year and was sold by receivers Rynah Pty Ltd to hotelier Michael McFie for a reported $16.5 million.

The Gold Coast businessman says McFie Group finalised the purchase of Melbas in April and the initial intention was always to undertake the extensive refurbishment of the upstairs nightclub ‘as soon as possible’.

“The downstairs restaurant, bar, cocktail and gaming lounge underwent major expansion and renovations in 2007 under previous ownership. As a result it was easy to identify that the upstairs nightclub was the area that deserved priority,” says McFie.

“We felt that it was important to refresh the nightclub and to bring it up to the quality that will bring it in line with the best of venues. Patrons are looking for up-to-date and quality experiences and we feel it is important that as an established Gold Coast venue we reflect the forward progress and development of the destination as Australia’s premier leisure region.”

The job was undertaken by Ashmore-based Civic Construction Group, headed by director Scott Widdicombe.

“The budgeted cost was $2.5 million, final costs came in around $3.2 million which also included additions to the gaming lounge,” says McFie.

“Primarily factors such as trying to complete work within restricted timeframes and logistical issues was part of the overrun; we also realised that the sound and lighting experience was of vital importance and as a result we have invested in the latest technology.

“It was a difficult project from the point of view that we had to demolish the existing venue back to a shell, remove it all basically by bucket and then rebuild. And to do this with a sincere attempt to cause as little disruption to surrounding businesses as possible, which is always a bit challenging as jack-hammers are not quiet tools.”

McFie says some media reporting has been ‘inaccurate and amounts quoted incorrect’, telling Gold Coast Business News that all invoices will be paid in full.

“Obviously work is subject to checks, quotes against invoices, balances and defects – there are valid reasons as to why some final payments may not have been released,” he says.

“We are working through these issues and give the assurance that all payments will be paid, subject to defects being rectified.

“We are totally appreciative of the efforts of all involved on the project and have recognised this through a pre-opening celebration for those who worked on the project and their partners.”

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