One of the best-loved pubs in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs has re-opened following an unexpectedly comprehensive overhaul.
Seven months ago the new owners of Paddington’s Bellevue Hotel, WDS Group, fronted by industry veteran Steven Speed, began a timely make-over of the famous pub.
Peeling back layers of the 1880 two-level hotel opened a Pandora’s Box that saw swathes of the heritage building virtually demolished and painstakingly rebuilt.
The new improved Bellevue Hotel re-opened to the public yesterday, and Speedy told PubTIC its full steam ahead after so long closed.
“First day of trade was better than expected,” said Speedy. “We seem to have created quite a buzz around this area, which is refreshing after such a long drawn-out process.
“I can’t wait to get into full swing and see what the Bellevue can really do.”
WDS is former Ferrier Hodgson consultant Peter Walker and Speed, who used to be GM for Chris Cheung’s C-Inc. They purchased the Bellevue from Riversdale in March last year, with suggestion they may be better suited to run the well-known gastro pub.
“We think there is a lot of upside in the Bellevue, with a more hands-on approach by a smaller group like us,” said Walker.
Known in foodie circles for its association with gastro godfather Damien Pignolet, the new offering has celebrity chef James Metcalfe calling shots in the open-plan kitchen. The menu, described as ‘modern European’ serves up the likes of spanner crab with wasabi and lime, Blackmore brisket with smoked beetroot, and chocolate tart with spiced caramel.
WDS and Metcalfe have opted for a fixed-price menu, with one, two or three courses for $35, $55 and $70 plus a six-course tasting menu with a multitude of dishes for $80.
Architects Humphrey & Edwards managed the redesign, which faced challenges in terms of heritage preservation and decades of hidden problems.
The new look sees the ground floor now flowing uninterrupted from the bar to the dining area, which has been doubled in size to 70 pax and decorated with elegant industrial-style finishes.
Friday the final element is revealed; upstairs, the Bellevue Terrace has also been overhauled to now offer indoor and outdoor seating and a bespoke cocktail menu.
The Hotel now also has four private event spaces, accommodating from 10 to 120 guests.