By James Atkinson
The team behind the Riverview Hotel in Sydney's Birchgrove has opened a newly refurbished pub in nearby Balmain.
Formerly known as the West End Hotel, the Mullens Street, Balmain pub has been rebadged as the Balmain Hotel following the four-month refurbishment by Balmain Pub Group.
The revamped pub opened last week with a design the owners say re-imagines the historic features of the pub with a modern twist.
There are two main bar areas, the top bar, which will be called the West End Bar in honour of the pub's former identity, and a larger bottom bar.
The interiors have a vibrant, South Pacific look with bright colours and quirky touches including the artistic palm trees painted on the walls and a pink flamingo room that gives a nod to the pub as one of the first in Balmain to have a ladies parlour.
"Although there is no shortage of pubs in Balmain, my vision for the Balmain Hotel is to offer something totally different from the traditional style pub this historic suburb is known for," said owner Nick Wills.
"I want to refresh the established local social scene and we are really going all out to make this venue fun and interesting so that people will know to come to the Balmain Hotel to have a great time."
The Riverview's Brad Sloane, who last year earned the NSW AHA Chef of the Year, will be heading up the bistro at the pub, which has the biggest beer garden in Balmain.
Focusing on a casual bistro presentation, the menu will have an Asian street food style with an emphasis on steamed buns and sliders designed to share.
Barman Istvan Orosz has been brought in to stir up the drinks offering, with a cocktail menu emphasising fresh ingredients.