Club Cool: Club Hotel Namba

Image source: Contributed

John Caruso discovers a pub that’s prepared and poised and ready to reclaim its position as a modern-day player in Nambour’s social scene.

One of my strongest memories from my childhood is of the family’s car trip from Bundy to the ‘big smoke’, south along the old Bruce Highway running right through the heart of Nambour.

It was a thing of wonder to spot the Big Pineapple!

The highway now bypasses Nambour but for many, this hinterland town, rich in history, still represents the heart of the Sunshine Coast.

One prominent fixture in that history is the building that now houses the Club Hotel Namba. Originally constructed in 1912 as the timber-made Residential Hotel, it transformed into a licensed pub named The Club Hotel in 1914. Over the years, it witnessed countless gatherings, stories shared over schooners, and the forging of local bonds.

However, by 2010, the pub fell silent.

Fast forward to late 2022, and a new chapter began for the iconic building.  The Club Hotel Namba reopened its doors, welcoming not just patrons, but a renewed sense of community spirit.

At the helm is Shayne Daniel, the General Manager and part-owner, who brings with him a wealth of experience and a clear vision for the pub’s future.

“I was at the old Joe’s Waterhole in Eumundi until about a month before it reopened as Matso’s Sunshine Coast and then the opportunity arose to join the Club Hotel Namba crew,” he said.

“Along with my business partners, we really want to establish a destination pub in Nambour.

“There hasn’t been much of a choice in the area, so its satisfying hearing the positive feedback and comments from our clientele so far with a lot of repeat business.

“We believe our food is amazing; what Executive Chef Wayd Bailey is doing in the kitchen is exceptional.”

Shayne has been in the pub game for eighteen years with stints at the Coolum Beach Hotel and Kawana Waters Hotel prior to Joe’s in Eumundi.

“I wanted to be part of this so I could really have my say and put my stamp on things, which you can’t do in a pub that’s one of many in a corporate entity,” Shayne said “With those kinds of places there are people in Melbourne telling you what to do on a daily basis.

“As independents running our own show, we have a say with the menu, wine list, cocktails – whatever specials we want to implement.

“We get new products in and are able to support local business, suppliers, producers; we can make all those decisions on the spot,” Shayne says.

Chef Wayd Bailey brings his brilliance to the Club Hotel Namba kitchen and he’s integral to the pub owners’ future plans and expansion.

Our Hello Sunshine Magazine readers might remember Wayd’s stunning food served at our Podcast & Pinot as part of The Curated Plate last year. As the Head Chef at The Doonan, Wayd quickly earnt a reputation for using local produce and skillful cooking techniques to deliver exceptional dishes.

We’re glad to be working with him again and are planning on a few joint events at Club Hotel Namba, so stay tuned!

“I worked with Wayd at the Coolum Beach Hotel, I was the venue manager, and he was my head chef,” Shayne says.

“His skill is that he’s very good at managing the kitchen and staff and working with local producers and suppliers. It was important to get him onboard to run our operation and grow our team because we’re looking at a bigger picture down the track.

“We’d like to expand with more venues, and we’d like Wayd to look after the whole food department.

“Our team is involved with events as well, for example the Noosa Festival of Surfing and Brewfest, so having someone with Wayd’s skills and experience to oversee that is important for us and our growth in the long term.”

If the walls could talk, they’d tell you some of the building’s story.

You see, the original building burnt down on the 2nd of January 1938. The pub was rebuilt, and its new doors reopened in March of 1939.

In the 1960s, a renovation included the rendering and painting of the building’s facade completing its current art deco look.

“The building looks beautiful; I think it’s one of the most impressive buildings in town,” says Shayne. “When you’re stopped at the lights on Currie and Mill Streets and you’re looking across at the pub, I reckon she looks really good.”

There was a brewery on site in recent years, starting up just before the pandemic and closing soon after.

“Prior to the brewery there was a steakhouse here; the whole building was bright orange and I believe it hasn’t traded as a pub since 2010,” Shayne said.

“The interior area downstairs was dressed up about 12 months ago, we’re going to build a sports bar out the back with a massive screen, and upstairs is office space.

“It used to be accommodation in the pub’s glory days, we may turn that back into accommodation or maybe a space for functions.”

A transformation is underway. The Sunshine Coast Council’s Nambour Place Plan is set to breathe new life into the town centre with an ambitious plan, greener streets, wider pathways, and vibrant art installations with local businesses poised to reap the benefits.

“Part of that means Mill Street out the front of the pub could be one way and we can then extend dining out onto the street into this entertainment precinct; and that’s a positive, as far as I can see,” says Shayne.

Club Hotel Namba’s story is one of renewal and community spirit.

From its historic beginnings as a watering hole to its current incarnation as a vibrant destination pub, the establishment will be a cornerstone of Nambour’s social scene.

With Shayne Daniel’s leadership and Wayd’s focus on quality and local produce, Club Hotel Namba is poised to become the heart of Nambour’s revitalised town centre, just as it has been for over a century. Cheers to that!

About the Author /

[email protected]

After 30 years in radio, John now runs the Conversations IN Noosa podcast and in between being our writer, sanity checker, accounts manager, event MC, and delivery boy; he spends time with his first love, recording a daily Drive program for regional radio from home (often in his pyjamas); and presenting Saturday mornings on Hot 91.1. He has previously worked for FoxFM Melbourne, Triple M Brisbane and SeaFM, as well as managing and presenting on ABC Sunshine Coast.

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