Renovation works have begun at the long-standing PJ Gallagher’s Irish Pub at Sydney’s Entertainment Quarter, with the two-level venue set to be transformed into a modern dining and event destination, dubbed Watson’s.
Leading the venue transformation is Michael Watson, director of Wats On Events, and Danny Stapleton, director of the West’s Tigers rugby league club.
Following a decade of running a successful events business, Watson saw the COVID pandemic as an opportunity to re-evaluate and continue his company, while embarking on his life-long dream of running a permanent venue.
With PJ Gallagher’s EQ having closed in June 2020, the Moore Park venue will relaunch in August 2021 as an “solid all-rounder”, boasting a brighter, more open interior design, dedicated event spaces and ample seating.
On the ground level, guests will find an indoor-outdoor main bar and dining area, while the upper level will be fully redesigned to offer a spacious event and function space.
“We envisage a revitalised space that is both pleasing to the eye and approachable,” said Watson and Stapleton.
“Whilst making use of the pre-existing bones, the space will be transformed into a bright, fresh, sophisticated, yet comfortable and relaxed venue.
“We want to create a venue that caters to the diverse crowds that frequent The Entertainment Quarter but more importantly create a brand and offering that holds its own and will hopefully become the ‘new local’, the perfect place for a meal with the family, drinks with your mates or a place to celebrate your next special event.”
Watson’s will operate under a 10-year leasehold agreement with the management team at The Entertainment Quarter, John Singleton, Gerry Harvey and Mark Carnegie.
The Entertainment Quarter CEO Guy Pahor said the new pub and event space is “something truly exceptional”.
“The team at Watsons are creating a space that is perfect for families, the businesses around EQ and our millions of guests that enjoy the fun at The Entertainment Quarter each year,” he said.
“We can’t wait to awaken such an iconic venue inside the Entertainment Quarter precinct, and give new life to our community here in Moore Park.”