Restaurant renovations and revamps are all the rage so we’ve rounded up our favourites of 2021.
At the chance of calling it too early, we’ve rounded up the best restaurant renovations of 2021. With COVID-19 came an opportunity for restauranteurs to step back and make changes they could have only ever dreamt of having time to do. We take our hats off to them for making the most of a bad situation and we encourage you to check out these new-ish venues.
When we think of top-notch Greek food in Sydney, it’s impossible to not think of Alpha. After a brief hiatus earlier this year, the restaurant returned to Castlereagh Street with an unmissable new look. Paul Papadopoulos from creative agency DS17 reimagined the space with stone-panelled walls, Greek-inspired curves and arches on the enormous fluted marble bar, and natural interiors. No expense was spared in this multi-million dollar refurbishment across three levels. Find out more here
Wine Room, Manly
Just when you thought the multi-level dining destination, Manly Greenhouse, couldn’t get any better, Chef James Evangelinos and his team transformed the middle floor into a Basque-inspired tapas lounge. The theme was well executed from the dark and mysterious colour palette, leather stud pressed bench seating and smoked glassware. The menu was designed with this theme in mind combining French and Spanish influences. Find out more here
Hinchcliff House, CBD
Earlier this year, a bunch of hospitality heavyweights restored the 1860’s wool store. With beautiful exposed sandstone walls and wooden beams bringing the place heritage charm, it’s easy to see why international restauranteur Scott Brown snatched up the opportunity to turn this venue into a multi-level dining destination. Move between the basement bar Apollonia, the bakery and all-day eatery Grana and the cocktail bar upstairs Lana. Find out more here
Norfolk House & Hotel, Redfern
Everyone loves a good pub transformation and The Norfolk House & Hotel has to be our favourite of the year! Spanning two levels, the venue now includes two bars, an expansive outdoor courtyard and a mix of lifestyle spaces for socialising of all types. The courtyard features large timber tables for gathering and a $25,000 16-spit roast barbeque to keep the locals well fed. Think Wagyu Rump Steak, BBQ Prawns and Smoked Pork sausages. Find out more here
The Goodsline, Pyrmont
Jack Hanna, the former Co-Founder of The Grounds, has re-launched The Goodsline cafe in the heart of Pyrmont. The place now has a great community feel with alfresco seating for summer days, booth-style seating inside and banquette tables perfect for group gatherings. From specialty coffee and bakery sweets, all-day brunch classics such as Smashed Avocado, French Toast & Granola, salad bowls and larger lunch dishes including burgers and pasta, there’s something for everyone. Find out more here.
Watson’s, Moore Park
The all-new Watson’s entered the Sydney pub scene following a million-dollar renovation of the renowned PJ Gallagher’s Irish Pub. The venue has a whole new look boasting two stories of bright, open spaces perfect for mingling. There’s a sun-drenched beer garden for long lunches and Sunday sessions with live music, a courtyard bar, and a 4-meter mega screen so you can catch all the sporting action. The alfresco deck is the stand-out feature sitting beneath 3 giant Moreton Bay Fig Trees that have been lined with fairy lights for alfresco dining. Find out more here
After the doors to this historic pub closed in 1990, the place undertook a restoration with a major facelift across two levels. The new space features a warm and welcoming public bar on the street level and a more vibing cocktail bar and lounge upstairs. The styling is contemporary with teal-coloured tiles, stained timber frames around the windows, a brass and zinc top bar and seating amongst exposed brickwork. Find out more here
Mille Vini, Surry Hills
MV Bistro & Wine Bar of Surry Hills turned into a luxe Italian restaurant and bar within the same space on Crown Street. The venue scored a major renovation boasting fresh interiors, contrasted by the historical building from the 1840s. The scene can be best described as moody but there’s a touch of elegance from the velvet drapes and brass and crystal chandeliers. It has a luxe, romantic atmosphere making it the perfect venue for your next date night. Find out more here
Little Red Robin, Lane Cove
The team behind Little Red Robin, formerly a fine dining restaurant in Lane Cove, has used the COVID hiatus period to give the restaurant a new direction. If Modern Italian cuisine, fine wines and exceptional service are what you’re into, you’re going to want to put Little Red Robin 2.0 on your radar. Owner Alessandro’s admiration for the simple European lifestyle inspired the new direction and he brings his Italian roots to the table. Find out more here
Shell House, CBD
After major interior renovations, Sydney-based hospitality collective The Point Group opened a multi-storey venue inside the historic CBD building, Shell House. Menzies Bar & Bistro on the ground floor combines heritage with European grandeur. Three new spaces including The Sky Bar, The Clocktower Bar and The Dining Room & Terrace are set to open this November bringing more elegance to Margaret Street. Find out more here
Wharf Bar, Manly
Wharf Bar has been given new life after a major renovation, menu revamp and the addition of a new Mediterranean restaurant, Bar Tropic. Alexander & Co led the design and interior makeover. Think coastal finishes, pops of warm colours, white painted steel and exposed concrete floors. The new restaurant/bar pays homage to its sister venue on the Gold Coast, Burleigh Pavilion. Find out more here