Hospitality group Solotel has revitalised its Newtown institution The Bank Hotel with a new garden bar and dining space and elevated food and beverage offering.

Along with new branding and exterior signage, the freshly renovated all-weather garden bar and grill area seats 170 people. Amplified by natural light, the space features contemporary furnishings and a warm colour palate complemented by natural materials such as timber and greenery.  

At the helm of head chef Quan Nguyen (ex-Chiswick and Opera Bar), the new produce-led menu leans into grill-style pub food while taking inspiration from Mediterranean flavours.

With a josper grill, many of the dishes focus on local and seasonal produce cooked over charcoal, starting with smaller sharing plates such as charred corn ribs, wood-fired prawns, and coal-roasted bone marrow.

The larger plates comprise individual mains, such as a smash cheeseburger and crispy eggplant, through to a selection of proteins cooked over the coals, along with larger cuts of meat served whole or carved to share.

Food and beverage director Joshua Hillary, who was appointed in October 2023 to redirect Solotel’s focus on food and drink, says the appointment of Nguyen illustrates the group’s push to elevate its pub dining experiences.

“Newtown is a hive of diverse and amazing dining experiences and so it was time for the Bank to elevate its offering as a great local, neighbourhood pub.

“We’re very lucky to have access to incredible restaurant talent within the group who are keen to take on the challenge of delivering an elevated yet still very approachable pub dining experience.”

The Bank Hotel follows in the footsteps of The Erko, one of the first Solotel venues to have its food and beverage offering overhauled after the group unveiled fresh new brand and company values in April last year.

Responding to a demographic change and local demand for high quality produce, The Erko’s refreshed menu tuned into quality pub dining and homegrown ingredients.

“The success of The Erko, which we relaunched late last year with Ethan Robinson from Chiswick helming the kitchen, has shown us that a restaurant chef in a pub setting is hitting the right notes with our local communities,” added Hillary.

Looking to the drinks offering at The Bank Hotel, a shake up of the menu has seen fresh new cocktails introduced, such as the burnt peach cosmo and strawberry gin fizz, accompanied by cocktail jugs designed for sharing.

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