A public bar that is accessible and modern, but which taps into the energy and attitude of the ’70s and ’80s Australia pub scene, is the idea behind Bondi Beach Public Bar (BBPB) – the latest venture for restaurateur Maurice Terzini. The 300-person venue is slated to open late December on the busy corner of Bondi’s Curlewis Street and Campbell Parade.
Terzini has been a critic of Sydney’s pubs, earlier this year telling Broadsheet: “In 2017 we’ve made so much progress, but there’s no dedication to the drinks. I’m fed up with the sloppiness, the carelessness of bad post-mix drinks, bad ice, glassware, straws and bottom-of-the-line spirits.”
Instead, BBPB will be a post-mix-free zone, will offer a succinct wine list in line with the group’s minimal intervention philosophy – pulled together by group sommelier James Hird. The drinks theme will channel Australia’s ’70 and ’80s drinking culture, but with a modern approach.
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“We’ve reinterpreted drinks like Harvey Wallbangers and White Russians. The [latter] will be served in a can and be called a White Mike Russian because it’s a collaboration between Mike Bennie and Mr Black. We’ve tried to have a bit of fun with it,” says Terzini.
The venue will be one large room with a bar in the centre, with a design Terzini describes as sharp, raw, contemporary and “punk”. “It’s a reflection of modern-day Bondi. It’s very much my tastes as well, so everything’s grey, white and black. Plus with lots of concrete.”
Matthew Bax, from Melbourne’s Bar Americano, has created an installation for the space, and the walls will feature works by the late Australian social photographer Rennie Ellis. The soundtrack will be late-’70s Australian punk, so expect the likes of Sydney’s the Celibate Rifles.
The food menu will be approachable Australian pub food with an Italian influence, created by executive chef Monty Koludrovic ([who is also at the group’s other venues, Icebergs Dining Room and The Dolphin Hotel).
“We’re doing a squished burger in reference to [Canadian chef and Dead Set on Life host] Matty Matheson. Monty got inspired by the collaboration they did at Icebergs, so we’re doing a double cheese burger. There’s also fried chicken inspired by Morgan McGlone. There’s Dolphin-style pizza, so it’s less traditional, but here it’s inspired by New York and New Jersey,” he says.
Driving home that public-bar theme, Terzini says it’s essentially a family-friendly place where people can have a drink, eat and experience quality. “It’s an ode to traditional public bars, so there are counter meals, it’s community-driven, it’s an everyday venue. It’s just easy and cheap.”
Bondi Beach Public Bar is slated to open late December on the corner of Curlewis Street and Campbell Parade, Bondi.