By Vanessa Cavasinni, editor Australian Hotelier
Yesterday saw the opening of The Paddington – formerly the Paddington Arms – in Sydney. It’s the latest venue Merivale has opened, in its recent run of acquiring and developing eight hotels, bars and restaurants in a 12-month period.
The Paddington is the first of three venues the Sydney hospitality group is opening on Oxford Street this month; it will be followed by a take-away chicken shop next to the hotel, and a new restaurant concept two doors down, which will focus on old-world cooking techniques.
Merivale CEO Justin Hemmes, is very pleased with the Paddington venue, saying: “We are extremely excited to open in Paddington; I have very fond memories of what Oxford Street used to be and we are looking forward to bringing some of that magic back to such an iconic part of Sydney.”
A large part of the hotel’s offering is focused around the rotisserie-led menu, which will be overseen by Executive Chef Ben Greeno, whose illustrious career includes stints at Momofuko Seiobo, Sat Bains and the world’s best restaurant, Noma.
“Ben is an undeniable culinary talent, arguably one of the best in the world, and he is going to deliver something truly special at The Paddington,” stated Hemmes.
Carissa Teeling, the general manager of The Paddington who previously worked at est., suggests that the focus on food is the natural progression of the modern pub experience.
"It's a great marriage. We can do the traditional burger and chips, but we've taken it to a whole new level with our unique offering of the rotisserie.
"The whole offering is a journey – you can have a great meal and a beer at the front bar, then make your way upstairs for a cocktail."
The Paddington also houses a cocktail bar, headed up by Sam Egerton and Toby Marshall, the team behind Merivale’s speakyeasy-inspired bar, Palmer & Co. The cocktail list at The Paddington focuses on classic cocktails from around the world.
The design of The Paddington was inspired by tradional butcheries, and has a relaxed British charm, using white glazed tiles, painted timber panelling and dark timber furniture. The upstairs cocktail bar has a more intimate feel, with booth seating, a leather-fronted bar and mirrored tables. The redesign of the venue was a collaboration between Kelvin Ho and Emilie Delalande of Akin Creative, stylist Amanda Talbot and Justin and Bettina Hemmes.
Teeling was incredibly pleased with the opening, which was busy from the get go – a fact that she puts down to the point of difference of what the pub offers. "No other pub in Sydney is doing anything like we are with rotisseries, so it's something unique."