Howard Smith Wharves looks to repurpose function spaces as bookings collapse

The operators of Brisbane’s Howard Smith Wharves are looking to repurpose their two function spaces into bars and restaurants following the collapse of event bookings due to Covid-19 restrictions.

The venue has asked Brisbane City Council for planning permission to repurpose its Howard‘s Hall and Rivershed venues in a “flexible manner” as the collapse in bookings has impacted the “ongoing viability” of the precinct.

“Amid the COVID-19 crisis, the majority of booked events have been cancelled due to the economic crisis,” the development application stated.

“Long term it is expected the number of events to be held at these venues will significantly decrease, and therefore will have an adverse impact on the ongoing viability of HSW.

“This proposal seeks to allow these buildings to be used in a flexible manner either as a Function Facility (as currently approved), Food and Drink Outlet or Hotel.”

Howard Smith Wharves chief executive Luke Fraser said its events bookings had been “decimated” by Covid.

“We’re still holding and taking bookings for events where it is possible under government restrictions, but like so many businesses that have been decimated by COVID we are having to adapt and pivot to the new landscape,” Fraser told the Courier Mail.