Merivale is preparing to open the outdoor space at The Alex in Sydney’s Alexandria as a dog and family-friendly venue featuring food trucks, drinks and outdoor entertainment.

The ‘Backyard at The Alex’ concept comes six years after Merivale rescued the heritage-listed Alexandria Hotel, known to locals as ‘The Alex’, from proposed demolition, although the venue has remained closed since.

Merivale bought the pub for $10m from a property developer who had lodged a DA to demolish the pub and build apartments, a plan that was prevented by pressure from the local community.

A date is soon to be announced for the first stage of the re-opening which will take advantage of the pub’s expansive outdoor space – a strategy that caters to Covid restrictions and at the same time enables the ongoing restoration of the pub’s interior unhampered.

Merivale says it hopes Backyard at The Alex will bring a sense of community back to Alexandria and reconnect locals in a place they hold dear.

The space features long communal tables and grandstand seating around a basketball court, and Backyard at The Alex will also feature live music and outdoor sports screens.

The food offer will include rotating food trucks including Wholly Schnit, serving a range of handmade chicken schnitzels and sides, Firepop, specialising in Yakitori-style bamboo skewers made from local ingredients, and a range of Merivale’s top pub hits from a pop-up kitchen.

A selection of drinks will also be available including beer on tap, classic cocktails and wine.

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