Fremantle’s National Hotel gutted by fire in 2007 is ready to rise from the ashes with its owner lodging a fresh liquor licence application to get the ball rolling.
The 1902-built National Hotel on the corner of High and Market streets went up in flames in 2007 and like some man-made volcano filled the night sky with a golden glow that could be seen for miles around.
The National, pictured, had been closed for renovations since 2004. And the fire was a punctuation point in an otherwise drawn-out death sentence for the hotels of Fremantle’s West End.
But last year, after a stalled bid to rebuild the hotel, it was bought by international pub chain Carnegies – which has bars in Hong Kong, Taipei, Qingdao and Murray Street in Perth.
NATIONAL HOTEL FREMANTLE
The chain wants to build a Carnegies-brand bar and restaurant on the lower floors of The National, and 11 four-star rooms in a four-star hotel that would maintain ‘The National’ name.
The rooms would each have en suite, and access to a verandah.
Also mooted is the Widow’s Walk Bar and Cafe that would occupy the roof of the building and offer panoramic views of Fremantle Harbour.
Carnegies plans to reopen the hotel by the end of 2013. The company has now applied to extend its allowed opening hours to 1am on Wednesdays and Thursdays, 2am on Fridays and Saturdays, and to midnight on Sundays.
The new licence would apply to the hotel’s ground floor, first floor and first floor balcony. The ground floor would cater for up to 160 patrons. The first floor would cater for 160 people, and the first floor verandah 95.
$5 MILLION RENOVATIONS
Carnegies says that $5 million has been spent on renovating the hotel.
The only significant difference to the pre-fire layout is that the former billiards room has been replaced with upgraded toilets.
The building now has fire alarms and sprinklers to guard against a future inferno.
The National is on the corner of High and Market streets in Fremantle’s West End.
The hotel’s renovation is a big part of an emerging revival of the West End’s bar scene.