You’ve probably seen the dilapidated pub on Harris Street in Pyrmont – the one covered in retro beer posters, with boarded-up windows and vines covering one side. That’s Terminus Hotel. It has been closed for more than 30 years but soon it will reopen.
“The main thing is just to bring the old pub back to life,” says Chris Cornforth of Harvest Hospitality. Conforth and Fraser Houghton (Harvest’s other co-founder) are in charge of the pub’s redevelopment by the new owners (they prefer not to be named, much like the reclusive original owners, the Wakil family). “There's some great heritage elements in there but there's a lot of scope to do new things,” says Cornforth.
Because it’s still early in the planning process Cornforth is hesitant to provide details. He does say he hopes to have several different venues in one, with an old-world pub combined with a more refined food offering. Though that doesn’t mean Terminus will compete with the fine-dining venues down the road at the Star Casino. It’ll be something much more casual. “We don't want to do a big soulless gastro pub, we just want to service the workers and locals.”
Luchetti Krelle (Momofuku Seiobo, The Tilbury, ACME) is handling the design. “We were there [with them] this morning for a few hours. We had a great session looking at different ways to fit things in and move things around,” says Cornforth.
There’ll be parallels between this and Cornforth and Houghton’s other venues, The Pig and Tinder Box in Tamworth and Percy’s Bar in Orange. Those are locally acclaimed for bringing hints of fine dining to a relaxed, rural setting. “We also want to bring the best of the country back to the city. We've found some really good producers who are doing good things,” says Cornforth.
Houghton and Cornforth aren’t sure when the redevelopment will be finished but are aiming for the end of next year. “We're thinking about 18 months realistically, but we'd love it to be sooner. We're just really keen to start pouring in Pyrmont,” Cornforth says.
Terminus Hotel is slated to open by the end of 2017.