The Barracks might be the newest joint in town but in its name there's a nod to what came before.

The old Wanganui RSA building on St Hill St has been given an overhaul as it prepares to open as a bar and function centre this weekend.

Former All Black Sir Michael Jones cut the ribbon at The Barracks during the Wanganui Rugby Awards. Photo / Stuart Munro
Former All Black Sir Michael Jones cut the ribbon at The Barracks during the Wanganui Rugby Awards. Photo / Stuart Munro

The RSA moved out of the building earlier this year after its amalgamation with the Cosmopolitan Club and subsequent relocation to Club Metro on Ridgway St.

Owner Denise Vincent decided to call it The Barracks to retain "an army theme".

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"We just thought it would be nice to keep it going as a bar of some description," she said.

Within The Barracks is Duke Bar, a sports bar in what was the main part of the old RSA, while the building also houses the Bunker Bar for functions such as 21sts, Remington Bar and Restaurant and the Ammo Room which is tailored to work conferences and meetings.

The bar was officially opened at the Wanganui Rugby Awards last weekend with guest and former All Black Sir Michael Jones cutting the ribbon.

The Barracks will officially open to the public from lunchtime on Friday with Whiskey Mama playing live in the evening.

Owner Denise Vincent says Duke Bar, the centrepiece of The Barracks, will be a relaxed experience. Photo / Stuart Munro
Owner Denise Vincent says Duke Bar, the centrepiece of The Barracks, will be a relaxed experience. Photo / Stuart Munro

Vincent said the bar will be a bit of everything, screening live sports and hosting entertainment in a casual setting.

"We'll see what the locals want to be honest," she said.

The building had a complete refit including wiring and air conditioning and sports hall of fame on the walls.

"The local contractors have been absolutely brilliant. It's just alive now, really."

Vincent said there was already a lot of interest in the new venue ahead of this weekend's opening.

"The diary's filling up," she said.

"It's amazing. People are very excited. I can't wait for next Friday when it's open.

"Whanganui is booming which is fantastic. You go up the street on Monday night and there's cars everywhere, which is great."