Newcastle seaside icon the Beach Hotel has officially reopened, following an extensive and inspired restoration.

Located in the heart of Merewether, the hotel was founded in the 1890s and the current building constructed by Tooth & Co in 1939 – now “steeped in sun, salt and community spirit”.

Hotelier Glenn Piper grew up spending summers with his family surfing Merewether’s coastline, and went on to acquire the Beach from Andrew Lazarus mid-2022.

A year and a half has been spent meticulously restoring the expansive multi-level institution, drawing inspiration from both Steel City and Aussie surf culture.

“The Beach Hotel has been more than just a pub; it has been a gathering place for friends and families across Newcastle for generations,” remarks Piper.

The establishment re-emerges from the attention boasting new experiences. On ground level is the heritage saloon bar, which has been revived in a modern zinc expression with original tile floors polished to show the footprints and graffiti of decades past. It offers views of Merewether beach and a coastal-led menu of reimagined pub classics and flame-grilled fare inspired by backyard BBQs. To drink there are crisp local beers, Hunter Valley wines and a dedicated margarita menu.

However, the ‘jewel in the sandstone crown’ is elevated bar and grill Peregrin. Executive chef Adam Rust leads the kitchen, centred around a traditional charcoal grill, producing a menu designed for sharing that focuses on the simple, natural flavours of salt, wood, and smoke. Peregrin’s bar furthers the affair with small plates, snacks and cocktails.

Larrie’s is a retro takeaway shop inspired by the classic Australian milk bar, which began trading May 2023. The space embraces beach culture, decked with retro fridges stocked with cold beers, and a menu that is a modern interpretation of nostalgic staples, such as the chiko roll with curry mayo, and ‘big chip butty’.

Live music entertainment is hosted in the main bar Thursday to Sunday. And throughout the pub there are vintage, sun-bleached photographs celebrating The Beach’s famed surfing heritage, generously donated by the community and the Merewether Surfboard Club.

Local firm EJE Architecture were behind the design, aiming to make the space reminiscent of the graceful curves of the seaside, with metallic accents paying homage to Newcastle’s ‘steel city’ legacy.

The Beach was the most recent addition to the Piper portfolio, joining Freshwater’s Harbord Hotel, and The Commodore in North Sydney, which is also under redevelopment.

Piper says the restoration at Merewether is a “tribute to the profound influence” of a vibrant community.

“More than just its Art Deco architecture and iconic views, The Beaches embodies its rich history, shaped by the locals who have passionately claimed it as their own.”

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