I’ve visited the new iteration of The Newport in Sydney’s Northern Beaches quite a few times. It’s one of those spaces that completely turns the definition of pub on its head. Think pops of pink, cactus gardens, a vintage gymnasium and plenty of marble. It’s out of the box, but not over the top… a fine line to tread.
While the iconic venue re-opened under their ownership in March 2016, that was only phase one. Now stage two has officially launched, with the opening of the highly anticipated bar and brasserie, Bert’s on the first floor. Taking cues from the grand hotel dining rooms of the 1930s, the vibe is relaxed, with a quintessential Northern Beaches air. Designed by Merivale’s design team of owner Justin Hemmes, his sister Bettina Hemmes, Akin Creative’s Kelvin Ho and stylist Amanda Talbot, the brasserie’s name had close family ties, with Bert being Bettina’s nickname at school.
Serving a Mediterranean menu, the kitchen features charcoal ovens and basque grills, while the chefs cook from an impressive centre kitchen. “We wanted to create that sense of relaxed indulgence you experience on a coastal European holiday,” says Executive Chef Jordan Toft. “To capture the feeling when you decide to order the fresh lobster or relax into the afternoon with champagne and oysters. It is very special, yet completely fuss-free.”
Alongside the food is a 750-strong wine list, focusing on classic Australian and European wines, emerging and quirky labels and an impressive selection of rosé. Guests have the option of enjoying it at the restaurant or at Bert’s elegant yet informal bar; a destination in its own right inspired by American country clubs.
Merivale will also open its neighbouring Northern Beaches pub, The Collaroy in late summer. Stay tuned!