Gladstone Backpackers unveils its quirky new bar
A QUIRKY bar with a rumpus room vibe is gaining momentum as a new attraction in Gladstone's nightlife.
The Gladstone Backpackers Charlie's Bar, named after owner Luke McClelland's dog, is targeting Gladstone's musicians and people seeking another option during a night out in the CBD.
Faced with an ongoing challenge to bring tourists and backpackers to Gladstone, owner of two years Mr McClelland has shifted his focus to transforming Charlie's Bar.
The venue has started its rise by offering regular events with the next due on Australia Day - a pool party.
It's been a busy month of renovations and redecorating to get the venue ready for the pool party, including building an outdoor stage.
Venue manager Callan Reah said he was confident in the potential to create something unique for Gladstone.
Mr Reah, who also organises open mic nights at The Dock and events at Crow Street Creative, said Charlie's Bar was a laidback place to have a drink with friends.
"Charlie's Bar kicked off on New Year's Day with a recovery event and there were about 20 to 30 people here," he said.
"I think it went really well, there were a few people who didn't want to leave."
From hosting open mic nights and working at Willy Ed's Music store at Toolooa St, Mr Reah is passionate about growing Gladstone's live music scene.
He said Charlie's Bar would be another venue for musicians to perform covers and originals.
"We just want to get the town happening again like it was a few years ago," Mr Reah said.
"This will be a more laidback place ... It's a bit of an escape from everywhere else in Gladstone's main street because it won't feel like your usual club or pub."
Mr McClelland said he needed to find a way to attract more people to Gladstone, and keep them here for longer.
"It's been tough ... Gladstone has a lot of negative stigma about it," he said.
"We had to add something new to the backpackers to get more people to come to Gladstone."
The Australia Day pool party will have foosball, pool and pole dancing competitions and live music from Bay Window.