By Vanessa Cavasinni, editor Australian Hotelier
The Newport, Merivale’s latest acquisition, is set to open on March 25 after months of renovations.
Justin Hemmes will open the first stage of the redeveloped venue over the Easter long weekend. Merivale purchased the iconic Northern Beaches hotel from the Bayfield Hotel Group a year ago for a reported $50 million.
The opening will reveal the first stage of renovations, based around the outdoor areas and different dining options for the venue. The extensive menu of The Newport has been designed by Executive Chef Sebastien Lutaud and is reflective of the laidback surroundings of the Pittwater locality.
The dining options, dubbed a ‘marketplace’ where patrons can pick and choose various areas to eat from, include the Burger Shack, wood-fired pizzas at Vinnie’s Pizza, fresh seafood, seasonal salads, and coffee and pastries at The Kiosk.
As this is the largest project undertaken by Merivale, Hemmes was understandably enthusiastic about the upcoming opening.
“The Newport is at the heart of so many wonderful memories in the local community, so it was incredibly important for us to honour this as we create the new chapter in its history. With its sprawling grounds, magnificent landscaping and team of over 450 passionate locals, this is one of the biggest ventures we have ever undertaken. We are so excited and proud to finally open the first phase”.
The dining options of The Newport will be complemented with a large game area, making it a welcoming space for families. The activities area includes badminton, ping pong tables, and a giant scrabble board. The hotel will also offer a programme of free activities.
Over the Easter long weekend, and to celebrate the opening, face painting, a petting zoo and Easter egg hunts will be held for children, and gold coin donations will be collected for Mums For Mums, a charity supporting local families through times of bereavement.
Live music will also feature heavily at The Newport, with Merivale’s Sunday Sundown live music program to continue at the pub, with performances from Saskwatch, a nine-piece soul group from Melbourne on Easter Sunday, indie duo Gypsy & The Cat on 3 April, Tasmanian siner-songwriter Asta on 10 April, and Sydney synth-pop trio Mansionair on 17 April.
Stages two and three of The Newport’s redevelopment will be undertaken later in the year.