By Vanessa Cavasinni, editor Australian Hotelier

With two new partners on board, Brett Strauss has relaunched The Chippendale Hotel in inner Sydney as The Chippo, revitalising all aspects of the pub’s offerings.

After the success of the almost year-long Cheekyburger pop-up within the pub, Cheekyburger owners have come on board as partners in The Chippendale, and a rebrand of the pub marks the new chapter in its history, and to mark a change from the Cheekyburger offering to something with more permanence.

“We just wanted to start something fresh. This is a new partnership so we decided give it a whole new name, whole new brand and a whole new look,” explained Strauss.

Sam Marsh and Adam Bailey of Cheekyburger decided to invest in The Chippo after working so well with Strauss for the past twelve months. As part of the rebrand, a new menu has been devised by new head chef Charles Fisher, who will focus on food from Louisiana, where he hails from. The Cheekyburger cheeseburger will remain on the menu also.

Strauss explained that the direction of the menu was led by food trends.

“American food is still on trend, despite the appetite for burgers perhaps coming down. American food as a whole is still massively popular. And it came about because we have a chef, Charles Fisher who is from Louisiana. He’s a really young guy, super switched on, an amazing cook. And we said to him ‘You can be part of something really unique here, you can have free-rein on this menu’. The responses have been really good and I’m really happy for him. I’ve never really eaten Louisianan food and when the menu came out it was all this shrimp and weird new flavour profiles that I would never associate with American food.”

Fisher also had the idea to turn the traditional Sunday roast on its head, and a fire pit and spit were purchased so that a pig or lamb could be roasted on the spit every Sunday, to attract a casual, Sunday afternoon crowd.

As part of the rebrand, the venue also underwent a major refurbishment. The ground floor redevelopment was largely aesthetic, with a new paint job, new furniture, the installation of banquette seating, new TVs for the sports bar, and new taps for the bar. In the basement, a massive new sound system was installed, in a push to promote the venue as a live music hub. Strauss stated that the venue has already booked in gigs for every Friday and Saturday night for the rest of the year.

“We’re trying to get that live music feel back without trading late into the night.”

With the official relaunch of The Chippo to take place next week, Strauss, Marsh and Bailey have used the last two weeks as a test run of the new-look pub, and the feedback has been very positive.

“The overall reactions have been great. People are coming in and eating food that they haven’t eaten before. I don’t know anyone who has eaten a lot Lousianan food, so the reaction has been really good. We’re really happy.”

Head chef Charles Fisher

The Shout Team

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