Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club (NCYC) now has clubhouse facilities to rival the best in Australia in terms of size and style, following the opening of its Stage 3 harbourfront development.
With the building doubled in overall size, the bar, dining, and lounge space is now available for members and guests rather than being dedicated to corporate offices.
This expansion allows the club to host anything from intimate weddings and functions, right up to gala dinners and corporate events catering for 300 people.
There is also a newly opened Nautica Dining restaurant, offering high-class a la carte meals and bar classics.
The project, undertaken by Williams River Steel with internal design by EJE Architects, completes the vision of the club’s founders, who allowed for footings and other works in their original scoping.
NCYC Commodore, Steve Rae said it only seemed natural to up the ante for their facilities, especially given their prime location spot.
“The location really justified having luxury finishes and a high-quality drinks and dining experience for our members and guests,” Steve said.
“It’s one of the biggest and best all-weather club spaces you’ll find, especially right on the waterfront.”
Included in the development includes:
- An all-new kitchen
- Foredeck room, with high bar tables and glass doors. To cater for functions, it can be enclosed.
- New café-style tables, flowing into a relaxed, sunlit drinking space
- New Regatta Room dining area with full-width glass doors that lead to an outdoor zone, which has a mix of table settings, bar stools and lounges
- A Trophy Room, which is glass-enclosed and suitable for corporate meetings or private dining groups of up to 10 people.
- The Bridge, which is a new space occupied by a long table flanked by leather chairs. It is ideal for training, board meetings and corporate entertaining during the day, or private dining functions at night with 10-20 people.
- The Retreat, which is a smart-casual, members-only space with a piano surrounded by dining and coffee tables.
“We’ve recently passed the 1,000-mark in membership and we think these new spaces will give people even more reason to join,” Steve said.
“As an added incentive, members get 20 per cent off their bar drinks and 10 per cent off meals.”
Nautica Dining is a fresh culinary experience in every sense, owned and operated by the NCYC with Luke Carpenter the appointed Executive Chef, leading an eclectic and dynamic kitchen team.
Raised on a sheep farm in New Zealand, Luke has long harboured a paddock-to-plate mentality and a passion for cooking. He honed his skills while working in Scotland for five-star resorts and opulent private members clubs.
Upon returning to New Zealand, Luke joined the Mantra Group, rising to become Regional Executive Chef. He then moved to the Anchorage Port Stephens, which was honoured with an Australian Good Food Guide chef’s hat under Luke’s helming.
In recent years he has worked as a fruit-and-vegetable provedore.
“Every day I was around kitchens and missed working in them … I just love cooking,” Luke said.
“When the club called me, it represented a great opportunity to start something from scratch. The clubhouse has a relaxed, resort-like feel, quite unique for Newcastle. I tell people, ‘we don’t have 180 poker machines, we have 180 marina berths’ – that’s the difference.”
The kitchen has nine staff, most of whom have worked internationally.
“You can still get a burger or schnitzel, but they’re done really well,” Luke adds.
“We offer something different too. Everything is traceable, which brings consistency – our lamb, for example, is from Pukara Estate, our pork is from Murray River, our beef is from Bass Strait.
“We’re making our own ice cream and sorbets, along with sauces and dressings, right down to smoking our own salmon.”
The bar and lounge menu, meanwhile includes a Charcuterie plate, with selected cured meats, house terrine, pickles, marinated vegetables, sourdough, Australian cheese selection, lavosh, toasted bread, spiced nuts, dried fruit and pastes.
Diners can order from their table using the COVID-safe Me&U smartphone system.
Reservations for Nautica Dining and membership applications are taken online via their website.
IMAGE | Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club aerial shot.
The NCYC was incorporated in April 1994 and has grown to be nationally recognised in sailing and sail training. Stage 1 of its development included the completion of four marina arms, boatyard and commercial centre. The second phase included a marina extension and the completion of the Clubhouse in 2008. The third stage of the development is now complete and open for reservations and members.