After a seven-month hiatus for renovations, the Bellevue is back in business. Not content with just splashing a few licks of paint around, owner WDS Hotel Group has radically transformed the pub, gutting the insides to create a slick new venue.

“It used to be really dark and dingy, and the way the rooms were laid out, it had a real rabbit-warren feel,” says Ben Pearce, general manager of Bellevue (the “hotel” has been dropped). “It also didn't smell that great in the public bar,” he adds. It closed in January for the overhaul, which included major structural changes. “We'd actually planned to reopen in April, but as we started with the renovations we encountered the kind of problems you would expect with a 100-year-old building,” says Pearce. “The delay was frustrating, but we wanted to do it properly.”

Humphrey & Edwards was responsible for the fit-out. The public bar retains its original location, but the pokies are gone, and the walls are now sparkly white. The dining room has doubled in size from the pub's previous incarnation and now features circular booths, chocolate-coloured brick walls and hanging ferns. Upstairs has also been given the full treatment with whitewashed walls, timber floors and a pleasant open-air terrace.

Chef James Metcalfe (ex-Becasse) runs the kitchen and has created a menu that will change with the seasons. Currently there are starters such as caramelised pig's head with toffee apple, house-cured coppa, and beetroot; and mains such as seared tuna with scallop, miso and broccoli. For the cashed up, there's the oyster and caviar bar, and for those who aren't, a bar menu with pub staples; burgers and steaks. There's a 70-drop wine list and craft beer from brewers Murray's, 4 Pines and Sydney Brewery.

“We're for locals,” says Pearce. With the different bar areas and different menus, there is something for everyone.”

159 Hargrave Street, Paddington
(02) 9363 2293

Mon to Thu 11am–midnight
Fri to Sat 11am–midnight
Sun 11am–10pm