Disruptive accommodation and hospitality startup the people_ has unveiled details of its flagship venue The Norfolk House & Hotel in Sydney’s Redfern ahead of plans to reopen it to the public.

The Norfolk, which has been reimagined and repurposed with the local community in mind, is the first of a series of holistic lifestyle venues to be transformed by the people_.

The new group was founded by Andrew Taylor, CEO, and Paul Schulte, Creative Director, and since its May launch has snapped up five other venues across inner Sydney.

The Norfolk, which was to open to the public next Thursday before the latest round of Covid restrictions were announced, will see patrons using the space during the day as a social community hub and a workspace, in line with the group’s mission to create inspiring spaces for locals.

The venue spans two levels and includes two bars, an outdoor courtyard and lifestyle spaces for socialising, co-working, celebrating and retreating.

The outdoor courtyard downstairs is The Garden, a community space that has both natural light and protection from the elements and features a $25,000 16-spit roast barbeque.

Overlooking the courtyard is The Garden Room with a large timber dining table that’s available for group bookings. A TV room and indoor bar with the original working fireplace will also feature.

Upstairs on level one, the spaces have been reworked and designed to feel like a living room. Open for the public and residents, the areas here have been designed in line with the needs of Redfern and the local community, according to the people_.

From 10am to 5pm Monday to Friday the upstairs area offers a networking and co-working space with free and fast Wi-Fi and ergonomic seating. After hours, it transforms into a stage for intimate live gigs.

The House also features a private room with an oversized dining table for board meetings or private dinners, a separate bar and a media space with projectors, green screen, gaming consoles and an Apple TV. All spaces on level one will be available to book for private functions.

“We aim to become the home for burgeoning creative Sydney talent, a space designed for musicians, artists, mixologists, and everyone in between, to flex their creativity and flourish,” says Paul Schulte, Lifestyle + Creative Director and Co-Founder of the people_.

Beverage Director, Tim Philips-Johansson, has curated the drinks list and the kitchen is led by the Group Chef of the people_ Sam Bull and will operate from 11:30am till late, 7 days a week.  The same menu will be available throughout the venue.

“Our food philosophy is simple; relaxed, delicious, for everyone. Taking inspiration from my family backyard BBQs, our signature Brazilian BBQ will take centre stage,” Bull says.

“We’ll be firing it up daily with a varied menu of Australian favourites using quality seafood, meats and veggies to reflect the diverse multicultural community we have in Australia. We want people to feel relaxed, and at home in our house just like at any gathering in your mate’s back yard.”

Also launching soon at The Norfolk will be a Spanish wine bar and bottle shop downstairs.

“We’ll we’re reinstating the concept of the old ‘public’ house, with six fashionable rooms opening later this year and we’ll be announcing a very exciting partnership soon for a wine bar and deli – watch this space.” Schulte says.

Although The Norfolk venue is to be the most indicative of the group’s philosophy, The Camelia Grove in Alexandria, The Exchange and Town Hall in Balmain, and The Exchange in Darlinghurst will all be transformed in line with the local community connectivity concept.

The people_ is currently operating a recently acquired sixth Sydney venue, The Strand Hotel in Darlinghurst, with a three-month repositioning and rebranding of the venue in the works.

A new opening date for The Norfolk has yet to be set.

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