By Suzan Ryan, editor bars&clubs

Renowned Sydney interior designer Paul Kelly and hotel licensee James Smithers have revealed their collaborative venture The Smoking Panda – a new permanent small bar situated on level one of The Hotel Coronation, Park Street, Sydney.

The concept behind The Smoking Panda is to bring the allure of a small bar into a hotel, to take level one of the Hotel Coronation to a competitive level against small bars in the inner city, claiming a large percentage of the beverage market.

“We like the idea of doing something fun and as the space was upstairs in a hotel, which in times past many Chinese restaurants were located. It seemed like the perfect fit,” said Paul Kelly.

“Chinese food and beverages go hand-in-hand – especially with the idea that the venue is upstairs from a pub.”

The room is designed to look like a hybrid of a Chinese restaurant and bar with timber Chinese pendants, timber beading screens, cherry red banquette seats, an oversize jellyfish tank which allows customers to watch the various lighting effects, retro neon signage and a large smoking area.

“The Smoking Panda, of course, needs a smoking area, and we have created a compliant smoking area off the main restaurant floor, with a huge Ming Dynasty Gold graphic on a glass wall separating the zones,” said Kelly.

“Hotels have been struggling for traction with level one spaces and often they become secondary restaurant spaces or function rooms, we believe there is a market who are interested in a food and beverage offer with extended trading… as well as pushed by operators that provide a level of interior that the small bars cannot compete with.”

Smoking Panda is open Monday to Sunday, 10:00am til late.

The Hotel Coronation: 7 Park Street, Sydney, NSW

The Shout Team

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