For 25 years the heritage-listed Naldham House, on the corner of Mary and Felix streets, was home to the members-only Brisbane Polo Club. But for nearly a decade it has stood empty – a shame, considering how stunning the 140-year-old building is.

Now, as part of its $2.5 billion Waterfront Brisbane project, real estate company Dexus has partnered with Brisbane-based hospitality group, DAP & Co, to restore the building to its former glory. In mid-July, Naldham House will reopen as a mega venue which will house Naldham House Brasserie & Terrace on the ground floor and Club Felix on level one. The second level, which will house a yet-to-be-announced venue, is expected to open later in the year.

DAP & Co is no stranger to heritage-listed buildings. The team opened The Gresham Bar in the former Queensland National Bank and Walter’s Steakhouse inside the Old Mineral House. But they’ve never tackled a project on this scale before.

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“We were really excited to work with this building because it’s iconic for Brisbane,” Andrew Baturo, co-owner of DAP & Co tells Broadsheet. “There’s been a lot of work done with heritage to get it to this point. There were a lot of things we were able to do, and a lot of things we weren’t.”

When Broadsheet visits the site, it’s hard to believe the building has been vacant for so long. It features stunning elements like large open glass windows, concrete pillars and intricate detailing. The fit-out is being led by interior designer Anna Spiro, who collaborated with Baturo on his now-closed Naga Thai.

“We’ve leant into textures and colours, which is very indicative of Anna Spiro’s taste and style,” Baturo says. “We love that outside, it’s a white building, and then you walk in and it’s an unexpected juxtaposition of colour.”

Executive chef Douglas Keyte, formerly of Grill Americano in Melbourne, will oversee the menus across all Naldham House venues. Naldham House Brasserie & Terrace will draw inspiration from the menus at European brasseries, while the fit-out takes cues from the world’s great hotels, like Raffles, with 95 seats inside and 120 on the terrace.

“This [first floor] felt synonymous with the grand hotels of the world,” Baturo says. “We wanted to have that lobby bar feel – inviting and relaxed, with a bit of sophistication.”

Upstairs, Club Felix will be a cocktail bar and lounge with a focus on champagne and classic cocktails. The French-focused menu will include charcuterie and elevated small plates, like oysters with Perrier-Jouet mignonette, and radishes with cultured butter and fleur de sel.

Club Felix will also operate until 2am four nights a week, offering late-night dining options for those in the CBD. Baturo envisions guests utilising both spaces during a visit.

“When people finish their dinner downstairs, they can come upstairs for another cocktail,” Baturo says. “We want people to have different experiences, like you would in a precinct. [Instead of moving] horizontally across different places, you can go vertically.”

Naldham House Brasserie & Terrace and Club Felix will open at 33 Felix Street in mid-July. A third venue will launch at a later date.