20 November 2023

Calwell club gets much-needed modern facelift for southside patrons

| Morgan Kenyon
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Eastlake Group’s proud history as an avid supporter of sporting and community groups in Canberra sweeps across dynamic clubs in Gunghalin and Kingston, as well as Calwell. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

Long-time patrons and newcomers to beloved Eastlake Calwell will be excited to bask in the venue’s brand new look, complete with pendant lighting and a bespoke recreation room.

Built two decades ago at 1 Were Street and known to many simply as ‘The Calwell Club’, Eastlake Calwell is now dressed to impress after a well overdue upgrade, according to CEO Anthony Ratcliffe.

“We’ve been looking forward to revealing an updated fitout for some time now,” he says.

“We aimed to begin refurbishment prior to the pandemic, but of course our plans were delayed thanks to restrictions and supply chain disruptions.

“Patrons can finally enjoy a total refresh to all areas inside the club and outdoors. We have updated our furnishings and fittings to reflect the changing market in Canberra, from a complete paint job and contemporary floors to modern vanities, petitioning and lighting.”

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Renovations have been well received so far and the club has already experienced an increase in numbers, particularly groups of friends and family.

“Eastlake Calwell now displays the fresh look and little touches of class visitors expect when they visit a club in Canberra,” Anthony says.

“Southside members have been loyal to their local for many years and recent feedback has been fantastic, not only on the refurbishment, but also the standard of our food, beverages and service.

“Most of our visitors aren’t just coming to eat and drink, they’re using the space to enjoy time with loved ones. We see social groups and family come together here often, even more so since the renewal.”

Drawing the eyes of many a patron is the somewhat nostalgic games room, fitted with everything they need to shoot some pool, play a round of darts or test their reflexes on classic pinball, hunting and racing arcade machines.

The outdoor courtyard has also been rejuvenated, featuring quaint playing equipment to keep the kids occupied while other family members enjoy the sunshine.

Calwell’s newly launched menu holds true to local favourites – the carbonara, parmigiana and schnitzel are as good as ever – while increasing its range of vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free alternatives.

Weekly and seasonal chef’s specials keep the menu even fresher, something Anthony says is vital in meeting guests’ increasing expectations.

“The Canberran club industry is pretty much operating at restaurant standard these days,” he says.

“Everyone wants restaurant quality meals at club prices. It’s getting tougher and tougher given our economic climate, staff shortages and ongoing problems with supply.

“It’s impacting everyone in the region. We have to be mindful when it comes to our planning and use local suppliers wherever possible, not just for our own benefit, but to support the community as well.”

READ ALSO Eastlake Football Club volunteer program opens doors for people with disability

With community care providing a foundation for all its activities, Eastlake Group supports more than 40 social, cultural and sport initiatives across the region.

Calwell specifically is a major sponsor for the Tuggeranong Bushrangers Rugby League Club, Brindabella Blues Soccer Club, Ford Performance Club, Probus Club Tuggeranong, Calwell Little Athletics and Canberra Dance Collective.

“Our largest contribution is to the local AFL community through our various football programs for men, women and juniors under AFL Canberra,” Anthony says.

“We often hold fundraisers and themed event nights to support their ventures. It’s well worth keeping an eye on our website and social media feeds to see what’s happening in your area.”

Eastlake Calwell holds its popular Children’s Christmas Raffle on 16 December at 7 pm. Don’t miss out! To find out more, discover what’s on or make a reservation at your local, visit Eastlake Football Club.


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Strange how there’s no mention of whether EAstlake’s pokies den was refurbished, given that’s where so much money is extracted from the most vulnerable parts of the community to pay for things like nice new carpets etc. I wonder why they forgot to cover this in their promo?

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