Goodtime Hospitality Group, co-founded by James Bodel and Locky Paech, bought the East Village pub earlier this year. Next month it will reopen and each of the three levels will have a different theme.
On the ground floor you’ll find the Public Bar, dubbed by the general manager as the “wine pub”. Expect navy leather booths, tiled tables and a light and bright palette. Paech describes it as a great spot to meet for after-work drinks and a feed. The existing pressed-metal ceiling has been restored.
The middle level, The Athletic Club, will emulate an old-school cigar longue, or private drinking den. Dark-timber tones, navy blues and sports memorabilia will be scattered around the space. The main event is the private viewing room, which can be booked for up to 10 people. Paech calls it a “neat version of an American sports bar”, but with a modern Australian spin on the concept. The private room is completely separate and offers full control over the television. Guests can order drinks and snacks from an iPad.
The rooftop has an incredible view that places you right in the middle of the city skyline. Expect a more modern space up top; floral-patterned seat covers, plants, patterned terrazzo tiles and summery vibes. An elevated deck provides an even better view. A private dining area (for 20 people), bar and kitchenette will offer alternate places to sit. There’s also a half-meter-high garden bed surrounding the bar.
So, how are we supposed to navigate our way through all three levels?
“We’re trying to create as many individual moments as we can with the space,” says Paech. “Each level will appeal to different demographics. We don’t see people splitting their time between the levels; they’ll probably go to whatever they feel like that particular night. Whether it’s a causal dinner on the roof taking in the view with cocktails, catching a game in the Athletic Club … or having more causal after-work drinks in the Public Bar.”
Alexander & Co is behind the pub’s redesign. It has plans to update the pub’s façade but this is still pending council approval.
The kitchen downstairs will serve food in the Public Bar and Athletic Club, offering “traditional counter meals, reimagined” says Paech.
“In Darlinghurst there aren’t a huge number of pubs. We want to service the residents who are itching for a local, and I think the East Village was once that.”
The Public Bar and Athletic Club are slated to open together in early October. The Terrace will open shortly after.