Sydney-based Applejack hospitality group has jumped into the next addition to the portfolio, reinvigorating and recreating Darlinghurst’s iconic Taphouse.

Following a “serious nip and tuck” top-to-bottom refurbishment, the heritage pub reopens to the public Wednesday (13 September), claiming a concept unlike anything in the area – driven by ‘Taps, Tunes, and Chinese.

Applejack is passionate about retaining the history of much-loved community watering holes, but while “breathing new life” into them to bring them in line with today’s expectations.

Patrick Friesen (former Queen Chow, Stanley Brisbane and Ms.G’s), group director of Culinary, has worked with new head chef Sam Ng from Hong Kong for “an epic Cantonese” menu, to be served across all three levels of the pub.

Dishes include stir fries using locally grown organic produce, and classics such as steamed barramundi with pickled chilli and black bean, and cruller prawn toast with sweet and sour sauce.

“We were inspired by the great English tradition of leasing out pub kitchens and serving a style of food not normally associated with a pub,” explains Applejack co-owner Hamish Watts.

The interior has retained the Taphouse’s timber panelling and pressed tin ceilings, now incorporated with earthy terracotta tones and dark timber furniture, aiming to be warm and comfortable.

On the top level the rooftop terrace, with a fully retractable roof, is painted in fresh white and blues, with whitewashed furniture and custom linen umbrellas, for a summer holiday vibe.

Beyond the tunes, DJs and entertainment, through a strong sound system tweaked even further, the ‘House’ sports 20-odd taps, featuring Sydney’s favourite breweries.

Ben Carroll and Hamish Watts

“It’s an all killer no filler approach to beer,” furthers Watts. “You’ll be able to catch all major sports and hang out once the DJs start.”

Watts and business partner Ben Carroll worked together within National Liquor Group (NLG), before going out and opening a total of seven bar-restaurants and two cafes throughout Sydney, including Bopp & Tone in the Sydney CBD.

Taphouse becomes Applejack’s ninth venue to date, and follows their recent partnership announcement with URBNSURF Sydney. In 2020 they resurrected the famous Forrester’s pub in Surry Hills.

“The Taphouse is such an epic pub,” says Watts. “It creates a feeling of nostalgia and London vibes that you just don’t get in many Aussie pubs.

“It has amazing bones, and we just exploited the best features.

“I wish this pub was on the corner near my house.”

Taphouse Darlinghurst

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