By Vanessa Cavasinni, editor Australian Hotelier

The team behind the new Banksia Hotel bistro have taken on another project in Sydney’s west this time setting their sights on Liverpool’s Macquarie Hotel.

Head chef Leigh McDivitt and Clayton Ries have taken their ethos of uplifting the suburban bistro from the Banksia Bistro by Fassnidge – in collaboration with celebrity chef Colin Fassnidge – to the heart of Sydney’s south-west, Liverpool.

Monarch Group’s James Smithers and Tom Andrews are looking to make Macquarie Hotel a “dining and social destination” for the local community, starting with the renewal of the bistro. Under McDivitt and Ries’ guidance, the bistro is focusing on hand-making as much in house as possible, and working with seasonal produce. Pub staples will still remain the focus, while specials will rotate around seasonality.

As Liverpool has a large population of people of European backgrounds, they too have been catered for, with dishes like the lasagne spring roll, filled with beef lasgne, and topped with basil and chilli salt. Desserts are also a highlight, with the likes of brownies sevred with stout cream, Jack Daniels ice cream with salted caramel and honeycomb, or McDivitt’s famed bacon ice cream pops.

Both men are familiar with the area, with McDivitt growing up in nearby Camden, and Ries in the suburb of Northmead. With their knowledge of the area, and it’s multicultural diversity, the pair want to give the area an upmarket pub dining destination that rivals city venues in quality.

“After we opened the Banksia, Leigh and I wanted to continue moving further to the suburbs and eliminate the need to travel to the city for entertainment and good food options,” stated Ries.

As part of the hotel’s transformation, Monarch group has also spruced up the beer garden (pictured), with an established Japanese maple taking pride of place in the centre of the outdoor space.

“The hotel had the bare bones there but it just needed a heart, something that can grow with the community we are trying to create.”

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