The Sand Hill Road boys, the group of four who own the Richmond Club Hotel, Prahran Hotel, Holliava and Post Office Bar Pizza have opened their fifth venue (and third venue for this this year) with their re-imagining of The Bridge Hotel in Richmond. Matt Mullins, one of the Sand Hill Road partners, reckons “the group’s focus is to create pubs for the locals and the community. We are not about high-end, gastro-pub food; we’re about pots, parmas and friendly service.”
In saying that, the group is also savvy enough to know that reaching a broader audience is a good business decision. “We are not naive enough to think that a pub can survive on just the locals,” he says. “If you’re going to build a pub, you need to build the best pub you can, respecting the community, and if you get it right, people will come from other parts of town.”
The refurbishment for the 100-year-old building was helmed by Justin Northrop of Techne Architects and he achieved his brief – a design vision that balanced simplicity and warmth with the exciting and inspiring – by taking creative license with the notion of laneway and working it into the building. “Justin showed us pictures of laneways from all over the world and said he wanted to build a laneway inside the pub,” says Mullins. This was achieved by utilising an existing courtyard within the old structure of the building.
With 20 beers on tap (Carlton Draught is the biggest seller), a simple menu and a family-friendly vibe, there’s community written all over The Bridge. But one can’t help but wonder, with four openings this year, just what do the Sand Hill Road boys have in store for 2012?
The Bridge Hotel
642 Bridge Road, Richmond
(03) 9429 5734
Mon-Thu 12pm–3pm, 6pm–9pm