What’s New Around The Beaches… The Hotel Bondi RefurbishmentHotel Bondi has long held the reputation as the bar you head to after the Beach Road closes. It’s pretty much the only place in Bondi that’s allowed to serve booze after midnight. Given that things tend to get quite ‘interesting’ after the hour at which Cinderella’s stagecoach turns into a pumpkin, for most people the mere mention of Hotel Bondi brings about hazy memories of drunkenness, debauchery and disgracefulness.
So when I ventured in to the newly refurbished Hotel Bondi last month for the first time in a long time (midnight is a big night when you’re the owner of a mixed pair of rug rats), I must admit I was quite surprised.
The poker machines have been pushed out of the way, polished floorboards have been exposed and a lick of white paint has really spruced the place up. The food offerings are targeting more discerning taste buds and it certainly feels like a more family-friendly affair.
During the month I fired a few questions at management about the makeover…
What inspired the freshen-up at the Hotel Bondi?
The Maloney Hotel Group acquired the venue in late 2014. If became fairly obvious that Bondi as a suburb had moved on in recent years, with an eclectic mix of food and beverage options, but Hotel Bondi hadn’t.
What changes have been made?
The hotel’s interior has been upgraded to provide a light and airy feeling, synonymous with its iconic beachside location. There’s a completely redesigned kitchen, which has doubled in size to allow an expanded summer menu that can be served quickly, even in peak season. It also features a stone-fired pizza oven.
The new Curlewis Bar flows through to the bistro and gallery and features a fresh summer cocktail list designed with a focus on seasonal ingredients and juices. It’s bloody delicious.
We’ve introduced live music on a Sunday afternoon, and Friday and Saturday nights see resident DJs behind the decks.
Are you looking to attract a new clientele?
We’d like to broaden our clientele to include all the walks of life that make up Bondi – locals, tourists, backpackers, day-trippers, families looking for a meal after a day at the beach, or groups wanting to kick on with some beats after dinner.
Is the pub’s reputation as a dodgy late night venue a thing of the past?
You know what they say about reputations? They’re easy to develop and impossible to lose! Venues should be all about the booze, food and tunes and we think we’ve got all areas covered. The pub looks good, has a great vibe and something to offer from 12pm to close.
What are the highlights of your new menu?
Food is now such a critical component of every pub. The vision for Hotel Bondi’s food offering is much like the suburb itself – fresh, seasonal and casual with a mix of ‘on trend’ ingredients treated simply and with respect. There are health conscious options that taste amazing. We also like to pay homage to the classics – any good pub bistro worth its salt has to have a great quality steak and a tasty parmi on the menu.
Why should Eastern Beaches locals get down to Hotel Bondi?
Most would have a Hotel Bondi story to tell; it’s nigh on time to develop a few more and reclaim Hotel Bondi as your local.