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Hospo Hero # 6 – Simon Lennox

November 30th, 2020  /  #hospitality, #PostCOVID, #PostCovid, Blog, ConsumerBehaviour, COVID-19, Global Hospitality, Hotel industry, Industry Insights, Uncategorized  /  Turned off

Our next Hospo Hero is an industry identity, having worked and owned venues for over 32 years! Household names such as The Middle Park Hotel, The Beach Hotel, Beaumaris Hotel and Motel nightclub all have a common thread…..Simon Lennox.

Fast forward to see what Simon is up to now?

A casual drive by a half gutted pub on Commercial Rd Prahran was the beginnings of The Osborne Hotel Rooftop and Bar, which opened in 2018 after a full Lennox renovation. In full swing, The Osborne pumps with 1500 patrons each Saturday night across dining, bar and entertainment.

The success of the Osborne had Lennox looking to expand seeking new business opportunities in the busy Chapel St precinct.  In 2019, around the corner in Greville St, Lennox embarked on a major renovation of Boutique Nightclub revamping to offer a brand new venue with Thai street dining and cocktails downstairs with Nudge Nudge and the hottest nightclub in town, Wink Wink, upstairs. A successful soft opening of Nudge Nudge and Wink Wink in late 2019, set the scene for a huge year in 2020 for the Lennox operations.

As with most of the Hospo industry, COVID hit Lennoxs’ businesses hard with a 6 month lockdown, limited income and a loss of many of the 60 loyal staff with only 25 being eligible for JobKeeper. But, Lennox is a glass half full guy and remained positive and immediately looked at resetting the business model. ‘As an Owner/Operator, every cent is precious and it is important more than ever to reinvest back into the business’. Although only 18months old, Lennox set about revamping the Osborne with upgrading interiors, expanding and strengthening dining and function spaces and to offer new activations. Caring and investing in staff was also a priority.

‘Survival is in the DNA of Australian Hospitality and pub culture is entrenched in the ethos of Australia. We will survive and it is now time to get back to basics. I am lucky that key staff have re-engaged but am fearful that ramping up may leave us short’.

Current restrictions allows The Osborne Rooftop Bar up to 80 with 50 for inside dining, Nudge Nudge can seat 40 in and 80 outside. Wink Wink is hoping for opening soon with eventual capacity of 500.

There are many challenges ahead but Lennox is hoping that with Melburnians holidaying at home over summer, Prahran will be a go to!

Nudge Nudge Wink Wink

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