The publican, who has owned the Wembley Hotel for the past 10 years, moved to Perth from Queensland 22 years ago and for the next 10 years lived in the western suburbs.
Mr Johns said that in some ways the Claremont Hotel was a ‘blank canvas’, giving him an opportunity to ‘do the things he wanted to do’.
This includes continuing the live bands and DJs that are already popular with a university crowd on Thursday and Sunday nights and introducing a more comprehensive wine list and accompanying food for a mature crowd.
‘We won’t be making aesthetic changes, just things that will help us deliver good quality food so the kitchen, till systems and staff training,’ Mr Johns said.
‘It’s a beautiful 1906 building with incredible history and original ceilings.’
Mr Johns said the Gaudi Bar ” named after artist Antoni Gaudi ” would remain but become a cocktail and food bar.
‘We’re having fun with the menu at the moment and working with some new ideas,’ he said.
He had already met with the Town of Claremont to discuss alfresco dining.