‘Institution’ of Perth’s Western Suburbs, The Claremont Hotel, reopened its doors on Monday 16 January, after the pub was forced into closure during the early stages of the pandemic.
Australian Venue Co. (AVC) acquired the venue in 2022, as part of the group’s expansion into WA. AVC set about a significant refurbishment process, which saw the venue expanded, restored and modernised.
Paul Waterson, AVC CEO, hailed the pub’s relaunch as a win for the local community.
“It’s a spectacular transformation and I hope it’s something that really resonates with locals, as well as being a destination in Perth. It’s been a long time coming but a true passion project watching this come together.
“We’ve been operating in and growing in Perth for several years now, and we love being part of the community here. There is a genuine camaraderie in the Perth hospitality scene, and the locals around Claremont have to be one of the most enthusiastic and engaged communities we’ve ever served. It’s a real privilege to be part of another historic Perth pub and such a significant revitalisation project,” Waterson continued.
In total, the Claremont has more than 1,300 square metres of internal and external space open to patrons, with more than 350 square metres of outdoor area. The entire hotel area weighs in at 2,300 square metres – nearly twice the size it was when AVC purchased the site. Capacity is expected to be around 1,600 guests.
AVC enlisted the services of Perth architecture practice, Fratelle, briefing the team to ‘create a landmark pub for locals featuring a bistro, bar and courtyard for indoor and outdoor dining, function spaces and a rooftop bar.’
Fratelle employed materials including terrazzo, timber and waxed plaster to deliver the new look – while maintaining period features, with the current building having been constructed in 1902.
Kylee Schoonens, lead architect at Fratelle expressed her delight at maintaining so much of the original heritage of the building.
“That includes much of the existing roof which will be showcased in the internal courtyard, retention of the original timber staircase, with some alterations to bring it up to current construction codes and celebration of the historic features such as protection of existing walls and balustrades, decorative ceilings, timber structure, brick walls and fireplaces.
“We have reused much of the existing building fabric in the redevelopment as an homage to the history of The Claremont,” Schoonens added.
“The Claremont has been a stalwart within the Claremont Town Centre since its early inception and has seen a number of transformations throughout its history, but holds a dear place in local’s hearts and the intent is to ensure the building maintains its key historical context through the retention of key pieces such as the façade and heritage staircase.”
Spread over two floors, the reimagined venue now posses a ground-floor dining area, the Claremont Hotel Bistro and a terraced Rooftop Bar. Executive chef Telina Menzes is overseeing the menu alongside head chef Nick Trezise. The venue also boasts a Coravin wine preservation system, with the wine list masterminded by author and sommelier Matt Skinner, AVC’s group head of wine.
In all, the list contains 70 wines, with 20 available by the glass, and 40 priced at $75 a bottle or under.
“Given the sheer size and scale of the operation we have tried to cater for a variety of experiences, but ultimately we want The Claremont to feel approachable. It’s a pub after all, where everyone is welcome,” Waterson says.
“Whether dining room, courtyard, kids play, rooftop terrace, function rooms, lounges or verandahs there is a place for every experience at The Claremont and we think that sets it apart.
Finally, Waterson suggested that there could be more to come in this vein from AVC.
“Locals are so supportive of institutions, I absolutely think there is room for more. We are constantly on the hunt for new venues with history and heritage we can reinvent in a new way.
“Bringing beautiful old pubs back to life is one of our greatest passions as an operator,” he concluded.
The pub is located at 1 Bay View Terrace, Claremont WA 6010, and is open from 11am, seven days a week.