The historical building that went from bankers to bartenders
I quickly found out that working hard and having an eye for detail went a long way in this industry.See our handpicked guides to Newcastle
BY ANNABEL ROBINSON
Once the old city bank, now a sophisticated, hip restaurant and bar. Vault 73 seems like the perfect name for this historical building that once housed the money of thousands of Novocastrians!
Situated on the corner of Hunter and Bolton Street, this historical landmark was standing empty before owner and head chef, Stuart Murrell stumbled across this gem. The venue has kept to its roots, taking you back in time with its interior consisting of chandeliers, arched windows and marble based pillars. The dark wooden tables and old fashion armchairs keep to their theme well.
Quite fresh to the Newcastle scene, Vault 73 only opened their doors at the beginning of August this year. Stuart was looking around the city for the perfect
place to open up his own restaurant after working in the Newcastle hospitality industry for six years. The old city bank definitely caught his eye
- a historical building in the heart of a city that is in the midst of exciting regeneration could not be ignored. Stuart and his wife Jen said they
are always up for a challenge! And with the current revitalization in Newcastle East, it seemed the perfect time to get on the bandwagon and contribute
to what is already a great place to live and work.
Stuart has always wanted to own his own place and run his own kitchen. He landed himself a job in a kitchen at the young age of 17. It was only a matter of four years later that he found himself as a head chef position at 21 years old.
“I have trained in French, Italian and Thai cuisine and specialised in desserts for a long time. I have always worked in small kitchens where every chef is expected to carry the load when they have to and the emphasis is on good quality and customer service that is affordable to average working people.”
Originally from England, Stuart and his wife Jen first came to Australia in 2004 for a year of travelling and never intended to stay so long. They soon fell in love with the relaxed, beachside lifestyle and decided to leave their life in Britain behind. After securing a temporary working/skilled visa at a restaurant here in Newcastle, they believed it was a city worth settling for. Could you blame them!?
Modern Australian cuisine with an Italian influence... what can we expect on the menu?
“Gnocchi is our specialty, we have two permanently on the menu and lunch specials regularly. We also do a mean pizza, make our own focaccia and offer Italian style main dishes too!”
Do you have any big plans for the future?
“We want to establish ourselves as a Newcastle destination, one of the must visit places for residents and visitors alike. We are more than happy to accommodate the long lunches and after work drinks as well as providing take away services for the days when you can't get to the shops or just plain don't want to cook!”