The Point – the Sydney hospitality group behind The Dolphin Hotel and Bondi Beach Public Bar – is set to open four new venues in a historic CBD building later this year. Split over three levels, there’ll be a ground-floor bar and bistro, a restaurant and bar on the ninth floor, and a rooftop cocktail bar, all sprawling across 1600 square metres of indoor and outdoor space.
Shell House was built in the interwar period and is the only remaining palazzo-style building in Sydney clad with glazed terracotta blocks. The 65.5-metre-tall building – which once housed the iconic Menzies Hotel – is at the centre of a $2 billion development by Brookfield Properties, and will mainly be taken up with office space.
In July, the ground-floor Menzies Bar – named in tribute to the 1970s-era hotel – will be the first venue to open. It’s designed to channel the ambience of the bars and bistros of Europe, with a menu to match.
“We want that ground floor to become like a new centre of gravity for the CBD, and be the place that everybody goes to meet and hang out for lunch, for dinner, for late-night supper-club vibes,” Point Group CEO Brett Robinson tells Broadsheet. “The downstairs is going to be a little bit darker, a little bit moodier and a little bit more bistro.”
The upper-level venues will have their own lobby and lift. Things will get lighter and brighter as you head up, with the indoor-outdoor Shell House Dining Room and Terrace reflecting Mediterranean influences. Robinson says that diners can expect an “elegant cocktail bar” and that the dining room will offer the group’s “signature dining experience”.
Up on the rooftop, a bar and cocktail lounge will sit beneath the building’s 400-tonne, hollowed-out clock tower, which was recently restored.
“You can gaze up at the mechanics of the clock tower – it’s quite a dramatic room,” says Robinson. “We’re designing quite an interesting cocktail bar and lounge in that space.”
Both upper-level venues are slated to launch in October 2021. Robinson promises there’s “great talent” lined up to lead the rooftop cocktail bar and the dining room. The group’s also involving staff from its established venues, including Josh Carrick, a chef at The Dolphin; Josh Reynolds, who leads the drinks program at The Dolphin Hotel; and Hotel Harry head chef Gustavo Silveira Melo.
“It’s really nice for our team – the existing people in all of our [venues] – to have something to look forward to,” says Robinson. “We’re all gathering together and pulling together to start authoring the product for the city.
“I don’t think you ever find a building or a space that unique in the CBD ... To find a space like that and transform it into our own hospitality experience was a pretty awesome thing to know we’d lined up.”
Shell House is at 2 Carrington Street, Sydney. Menzies Bar is expected to open in July 2021. Shell House Dining Room and Bar and Shell House Sky Bar are both set to open in October 2021.