THE BLACK Swan is one of several Bendigo pubs to have recently undergone a revamp.
The former United Kingdom Hotel was renovated to become Cafe 307, and significant changes have been made at the Golden Square Hotel.
According to Black Swan owner Andrea Bazzani, pubs and clubs needed to change to be competitive in the industry.
“There are a lot of venues and you need to be at the front of the race if you want to survive,” he said.
“I’ve had a liquor licence since 1995 and just the other day we realised the Black Swan is the longest running bar or nightclub to run in Bendigo under the same name and same proprietors.
“That shows we’re here for the long haul and have what it takes.”
Mr Bazzani, who manages the venue with sister and business partner Alysia Bazzani, said lots of pubs went bust.
“A lot of proprietors buy into pubs without having any hospitality industry experience,” he said.
“And it’s incredibly difficult to be able to operate a hospitality business with all the costs and to be able to keep the doors open.
“It’s a battle we fight every week.
“Trending is a big thing in terms of venue popularity, and Bendigo is a town that follows those trends.
“You have to be sure the experience you’re providing across the board is the best it can be if you want to be there for the long term.”
Mr Bazzani said the last twelve months had been the hardest period for the Black Swan since it opened in July 2002, but said things were looking positive.
“The response to the renovations has been fantastic,” he said.
“It’s unanimously been a positive response and I don’t think anyone’s said they’ve missed the old place.
“It’s changed an enormous amount and I still find myself walking around the place soaking up all the details.
“I think the economic downturn put a lot of pressure on businesses, bars and clubs especially.
“But that means that you can’t stand still and do nothing, you have to forge ahead.