Eat & Drink
Islington

The Wickham Park Hotel

Meet the new team behind this long-standing watering hole

For many years the venue that sits at the junction of Sheddon and Albert Streets and Maitland Road in Islington has been a home for rock music in Newcastle.

But, did you know the venue has undergone some pretty impressive changes with a new team taking over the lease late last year?

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Introducing the new faces behind this rather iconic venue in Newcastle – Steve Organ, Tristan Heels, and Corey Park.

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Steve Organ, Tristan Heels, and Corey Park

The Wickham Park Hotel, affectionately known as The Wicko, is rooted in history with a strong live music background and has recently undergone a transformative phase with the trio bringing their combined hospitality backgrounds together to rekindle this beloved community hub with fresh energy and innovative ideas.

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“Steve and I met pouring beers at another venue in Newcastle about twenty years ago and we’ve just been mates ever since. The three of us were all working on Beaumont Street at one point, and we’ve all served one another beers and fed each other schnittys over the years.

“Steve and I talked about running somewhere together for years. When this one came up it all just fell into place,” Tristan said.

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Their shared history in the hospitality and live music scene spans numerous establishments, and this bond has seamlessly transitioned into their professional collaboration here at The Wicko.

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Taking over the reins in November last year, the trio were quick to make The Wicko their own firstly by completely refreshing the food offering and over the last six months introducing new additions to the venue’s already strong lineup of live music including new acts to the music lineup, a rejuvenated cocktail offering, and more.

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“Years ago, no one would think to come to The Wicko for a modern cocktail and a nice feed and we’re here to bring that to Newcastle,” Corey said.

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The new food menu has revolutionised the venue’s offering. A robust vegan menu to cater to Newcastle’s strong vegan community, elevated pub feeds, and almighty year-round Sunday roasts have all added to the uplifting of The Wicko’s culinary status.

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“I would say that overall, it’s an elevated pub offering. It’s contemporary and considered.”

Outside of the kitchen, The Wicko’s appeal lies in its versatile and inclusive environment. Whilst continuing to maintain the venue’s legendary status as a local live music hotspot, the trio have aimed to integrate new elements to engage with the whole community including the addition of its punters’ club, and becoming one of Newcastle’s go-to spots for live sport.

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“We really want to be known as a place for people to watch live sport. But when we say that, we’re not wanting to step on the toes of our music crowd. We’re not reinventing the wheel here, we’re just adding to what was already here,” Steve said.

The Wicko’s ability to host diverse events, from intimate acoustic sessions to large birthday parties, adds another layer of versatility. Not to mention, Corey is open to working with functions to create a foodie offering from as little or as big as you can imagine.

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“Basically, we can do whatever our function guests want. If they want a sit down fine dining experience, we’ll give it to you. If you want relaxed canapes or grazing boards, we can do that too,” Corey said.

As Steve, Tristan, and Corey continue to steer The Wicko towards a promising future, they remain connected to the venue’s roots. Their vision is not about drastic changes, but rather about enhancing and expanding its existing charm.

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“When a lot of people think of The Wicko, they think of rock music and that’s not going to change.”

In revitalising The Wickham Park Hotel, Steve, Tristan, and Corey have not only preserved a piece of Newcastle’s heritage but have also infused it with new life and energy with The Wicko set to remain a cherished part of Newcastle’s cultural landscape.

The Wickham Park Hotel

61 Maitland Road, Islington, NSW, 2296

Today - 1000 – 2200