Murray Bridge Club redevelopment begins

The community club's dining room will move upstairs a week from now to clear the way for a transformation 47 years in the making.

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If you want to enjoy one more meal in the Murray Bridge and Districts Community Club’s old dining room, you’ll have to get in quickly.

The club is about to get its biggest makeover in decades.

A public consultation is now open on a plan to transform the 47-year-old building, taking advantage of the riverfront space vacated by Murray Bridge Rowing Club last summer.

The shell of the building will remain, but inside there will be:

  • a new, 200-seat restaurant and cafe, “the Boathouse”, overlooking the River Murray

  • a sports bar in the place of the current dining room

  • a larger gaming area, with 10 extra pokie machines

The club’s upstairs function room is already being remodelled – it will serve as the main dining room while work is carried out on the lower level.

The downstairs dining room will close after the club’s annual general meeting next Sunday, November 28.

The plan had been well received by the club’s members at an information day back in June, manager Shane Barton-Ancliffe said.

Concept images the club posted on its Facebook page in September also proved popular.

An artist’s impression of the riverfront restaurant planned in the former rowing shed at Sturt Reserve. Image: Murray Bridge Club/Facebook.

“The key is the riverfront dining,” Mr Barton-Ancliffe said.

“With Sturt Reserve (being redeveloped), we want to be part of that.”

The Boatshed restaurant would feature an outward-facing serving window where joggers could grab coffees or families lunching under the shelter being built next door could get ice creams, he said.

Most of the work will go ahead regardless of the public consultation.

Only the changes in the former rowing shed still need approval from the Murray Bridge council assessment panel.

If approved, the club hopes to open the Boatshed restaurant next summer.

The rowing boats are out, but there’s still plenty of work to be done to transform this space into a restaurant. Photo: Peri Strathearn.

This is not the first time the club and its landlords have revealed a big plan to redevelop the building.

A previous plan, which would have featured 16 apartments on the top level, was approved in 2013 but never went ahead.

The latest plan became possible after Murray Bridge Rowing Club moved into a purpose-built facility next door last summer.

  • Have your say: Visit before 11.59pm next Tuesday, November 23.

Goodbye, old friend – a wall down the middle of this space will separate an expanded gaming room, on the left, and a sports bar on the right. Photo: Peri Strathearn.

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