General Bourke is a pub in Sydney’s western suburb of Parramatta. The pub’s story traces back to the early 1900s with much of its charm and architectural features still beautifully preserved. While the venue has changed ownership over the years, it is currently owned by Iris Hotel Group. With a view to modernize the venue while staying true to its significant status in the Parramatta area, Iris Hotel Group put General Bourke through a thorough refurbishment to make it a true destination venue with something for everyone. Within the building you’ll find a plush gaming room with Asian-inspired décor, a sports bar, VIP lounge, modern bistro with outdoor dining, and a larger main bar perfect for afternoon drinks and conversation.
Paul Devine, COO at Iris Hotel Group, explained the company’s vision, “General Bourke is on the edge of the commercial area in Parramatta, so we wanted to cater to the corporate market in the area, while preserving its reputation as a go-to entertainment and pub destination, which it has been for numerous years since the early 1900s. We wanted to continue that tradition but allow ourselves the freedom to cater to everyone.”
Each of the areas within General Bourke has its own feel and ambience. With such diverse spaces, it was critical the audio solution flowed as customers moved throughout the venue. “With our sound system, we wanted to ensure each area could be pristine in its offering and deliver the exact sound quality required for that individual space, without bleeding into another area, resulting in a lack of clarity and noise,” shared Devine.
It was also important that both the background and foreground music system could create the lively atmosphere of a traditional pub without overpowering the interactions between staff and customers. The team at Total Concept Projects (TCP) enabled this vision for each of the areas within General Bourke.
TCP Director, Tony Musico, designed an audio system for General Bourke that utilized loudspeakers from the Bose Professional FreeSpace and EdgeMax product families. Most of the audio throughout the dining areas is reinforced with Bose FreeSpace 3 in-ceiling loudspeakers. The low ceilings in the main bar meant the wide dispersion characteristics of FreeSpace loudspeakers were a perfect fit and ensured even coverage. In the sports TV viewing areas that require a higher SPL or more directional coverage, TCP deployed Bose EdgeMax EM90 and EM180. EdgeMax’s precise directionality ensured those who wanted to stand and watch a game or race could enjoy high-quality audio without excess noise bleeding throughout the room and impinging on the experience of other customers.
“We needed to create a scenario in a modern venue whereby noise wasn’t bleeding through and interrupting the service exchange between the patron and our staff members,” said Devine. “Bose EdgeMax has certainly ensured that, at a normal conversational level, we now have hospitality staff re-engaging with patrons at the bar and talking in a normal voice without yelling or trying to be heard over music. It’s all about interaction with the customer.”
The upstairs dance floor area, which turns into a nightclub after hours, was fitted with EdgeMax ceiling loudspeakers coupled with F1 subwoofers. Musico, delighted with the pairing, added, “This combination is unique as a foreground nightclub system, but its use was extremely successful.” Additional FreeSpace 3 loudspeakers cover the upstairs event and seating area where a PowerMatch PM8500N power amplifier is used for powering and processing all the loudspeakers.
“Even though the loudspeakers create the ideal, integrated background music system, it’s the Bose range and type of products that really impressed me,” added Musico. Pubs can be noisy and sometimes unpleasantly so. A sure way of spoiling a customer’s experience is to push loud music into the places they’re trying to have conversations. Devine said, “This new Bose system has eradicated that issue. Because of the directional sound, it actually allows, in a normal conversational voice, patrons and staff to engage with each other — which is the traditional premise of hospitality.”
PARTNER: Total Concept Projects
Total Concept Projects (TCP) specializes in innovative audiovisual and lighting solutions for corporate, hospitality and residential sectors throughout Australia and Asia.
General Bourke Case Study