When you decide to buy a pub built in 1880, you don’t just buy a stack of bricks, but its history too. It’s something the general manager and face of the Bellevue Hotel, Peter Tate, understood all too well when he and the Malouf brothers of Royal Hotels Group (Royal Oak Hotel, Gregory Hills Hotel) bought the historic Hargrave Street pub (affectionately known as “The Bellie” to locals).
“When myself and the boys looked into buying it, we had to look at the purse strings obviously, but more importantly, there were a lot of heartstrings,” Tate tells Broadsheet.
Having frequented the pub in his younger years, Tate recalled the Bellevue as the sort of spot where you could turn up any time and always find someone you know. It was a “melting pot of mates”, he says. It’s this focus on the local community that Tate wants to bring back.
“The cutlets are symbolic of the history of the pub,” says Tate. “I’m not sure how far back it goes, but it’s a fair way. Bringing the cutlets back just sung out that the old Bellevue is back.”
The Paddington pub has had a number of spruce-ups over the years, but the recent refurb by the Malouf brothers wasn’t about making it a destination pub – it was about making it comfortable.
While the downstairs sports lounge will still cater for punters wanting to watch the game, the main focus is at Brigitte’s upstairs, which includes an expansive outdoor terrace and a 30-person restaurant and bar, providing both formal and casual dining options for guests. There they can eat bangers and mash or corned beef with horseradish, as well as a few new additions, such as the pulled-chilli-pork lettuce cups and the salmon poke bowl with edamame and miso dressing.
The decision to name the bar Brigitte’s is another nod to the pub’s history. Bridget was the wife of original owner James Quigley, and she ran the pub with her two sons after James’s death in 1883, keeping the pub in the family for 58 years.
It also happens to be a name shared with Tate’s mother, bringing the story of the Bellevue Hotel full circle into the 21st century.
The Bellevue Hotel
159 Hargrave Street, Paddington
(02) 9363 2293
Mon to Thu 10am–11pm
Fri & Sat 10am–12am