The Beach Hotel in Merewether has reopened.
After an 18-month renovation, the beachside haunt is once again set to welcome visitors through its doors, just in time for Christmas.
The beloved Frederick Street pub now boasts a revitalised main bar, sun-soaked terrace and new coastal dining experience, Peregrin.
Since aquiring the expansive mutli-level Merewether institution in May 2022, hotelier Glenn Piper has been orchestrating an extensive restoration of the seaside icon, looking to Newcastle’s history as a place where steel city meets surf culture to inspire its future.
The first stage of the new makeover, a retro takeaway inspired by the classic Australian milk bar — Larrie’s, opened earlier this year.
On Friday 22 December, The Beach Hotel’s main bar and upstairs restaurant followed suit, creating a timeless space that feels familiar, yet fresh.
“With each venue at The Beach Hotel, the team and I have paid homage to the rich and storied history of Merewether,” says Piper.
“Larrie’s harks back to the local fish and chip shops of our youth; photographs, furnishings and even bricks collected from The Beach Hotel’s many eras have been given a fresh coat of paint and sit pride of place in the main bar; and finally, Peregrin — our top-floor dining venue — will play up the eclectic, diverse produce and people that have converged on this unique location throughout the decades.”
Local design practice, EJE Architecture, has peeled back the years of The Beach Hotel’s main bar to reveal hidden treasures beneath the walls.
Light and airy, the space mimics the elegant curves of seaside topography while incorporating metal touches that nod to Newcastle’s steel city legacy.
A heritage saloon bar from the pub’s 1940’s Tooth & Co era has been brought back to life in a modern zinc expression, original tile floors have been polished to show the footprints and graffiti of decades past, original ceramics on the walls have been given a facelift and vintage photographs — donated by the community and the Merewether Surfboard Club — show off The Beach Hotel’s impeccable Art Deco surfing heritage.
Executive chef Adam Rust has similarly merged the old with the new in a menu of reimagined pub classics and flame-grilled fare reminiscent of backyard barbeques, all curated with a quintessentially Australian coastal twist.
Think potato scallops with vinegar sea salt, homemade sausage rolls with a kick of chipotle ketchup, fresh snapper ceviche with cassava chips, jalapeno, lime and coconut, and salmon crudo with green goddess, cucumber, and chilli.
Diners can also choose from fresh takes on pub classics like a deluxe beef burger topped with a pineapple fritter and mounds of onion rings and The Beach Hotel’s signature beach basket, brimming with barramundi, prawns, and half-shell scallops.
Plus, a range of wood-fired pizzas, topped with cured meats and marinated veggies, available till late, plus a selection of Jack’s Creek steaks or miso-glazed eggplant, fresh off the grill.
The drinks list sees Merewether’s laidback beach philosophy taken to the next level.
Signature cocktails like the Sea Swell, which sees gin paired with grapefruit, lemon and vanilla, or the Lychee Longboard — featuring blueberry vodka, lychee and pineapple — take inspiration from the pub’s ocean surrounds while the bar will also be slinging a dedicated margarita menu, alongside crisp local beers and Hunter wines.
Peregrin, which will officially open in January, takes its name from the Latin word for ‘traveller’ and honours a time when The Beach Hotel was the final stop on the Merewether Beach tram line.
An ode to the historic meeting point between coastline and community in the form of an elevated bistro-style dining experience, Peregrin’s menu shines a spotlight on local produce sourced from the abundant Hunter Region.
A traditional charcoal grill acts as the centrepiece of the vast open kitchen, while a sprawling terrace offers breathtaking ocean views, creating a space where every occasion is an opportunity for a feast — from a special event to a spontaneous gathering.
Further details on the launch of Peregrin will be announced soon.
For more on this topic:
- Merewether Beach Hotel rebirth begins
- Hotelier Glenn Piper aquires Merewether Beach Hotel
- Best Burgers in Newcastle
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