The Lucky Hotel
237 Hunter St, Newcastle, NSW
02 4925 8888
Newcastle residents were certainly feeling fortunate when The Lucky Hotel reopened its doors in 2014 to reveal a lively and inviting addition to the city’s pub scene.
The longstanding Lucky Country Hotel, an iconic watering hole dating back to the 1800s, has not been forgotten. Not only does part of the name remain, so too does the original exposed brickwork, iron beams, historic fireplaces and timber frames. But now it’s better than ever, with a restored façade, boutique accommodation and a new American-style barbecue restaurant.
Hayley and Blake McCloy are the sisters behind the Lucky’s great fortune, and together they brought many years of hospitality experience to the table. Although this is their first venture, their commitment and passion has not gone unrecognised – the girls picked up a slew of awards at the 2015 AHA Awards for Excellence, including Best New/Redeveloped Hotel – Country.
To see what all the fuss is about, head straight for the Courtyard. Refurbished with a striking three-metre-high vertical garden, a semi-open roof and misting lines for the summer, it’s got all the ingredients for a laidback Sunday session or an exciting Saturday night. Watch as the sun sets – the exposed brick walls come to life with colourful projections.
Now that you’re settled, look to the menu, which is bursting with finger-licking American barbecue favourites. Smoked low and slow over hickory for up to
14 hours on the Lucky’s rare imported smoker (there are only three in Australia), the meats showcase the best of what’s local and in season. If you can’t choose between beef or pork ribs, opt for the Pit Master Platter and receive a bounty of Lucky’s signature pork ribs, beef short ribs, pulled pork, Cajun chicken wings and pork sausages. Team your proteins with jalapeño cornbread slathered with smokehouse maple butter, or deep-fried pickles with ranch dipping sauce for the ultimate American feast.
If you’re after something lighter, you won’t have to compromise on taste. The BBQ prawn salad with charred zucchini, croutons, charred corn and lemon oil will hit the spot, while vegetarians will love the Earth Burger, featuring a corn and black bean patty with zucchini, spinach, beetroot and horseradish relish.
Accompany your smokehouse extravaganza with the perfect beer. Whatever you fancy, the Lucky has you covered, with craft beers on tap from Aussie brewers such as Feral Brewing Company, Rocks Brewing Co. and Young Henrys, as well as a rotating range of brews straight from the United States. The wine list will also impress, with many varieties sourced from the nearby Hunter Valley.
The Lucky’s nostalgia for the past, combined with a forward-looking design and modern menu has won over patrons from every age group and walk of life. The result is an eclectic and warm venue with boutique style: Newcastle has struck gold with the Lucky.