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Merivale, one of the largest hospitality groups in Australia, is preparing for its most exciting summer yet, with seven new venues set to open by February 2016. The group’s program of expansion and reinvention of existing properties will lay a foundation for the fastest period of growth in Merivale’s history.


The new stars of Merivale’s rejuvenated stable of venues include the iconic Newport Arms Hotel on the northern beaches, the Queen Victoria Hotel in the thriving inner-west, three new venues on Paddington’s Oxford Street including the old Paddington Arms Hotel, a wine bar on the CBD’s King Street and a whisky bar at the historic Angel Hotel. ivy Pool Club, the rooftop oasis atop the lifestyle precinct, is also set for a relaunch with a new menu to match its fresh Italian look.


Justin Hemmes, Merivale CEO, said: “This intense period of Merivale’s growth is such an exhilarating time for the group.  It’s the excitement of diversity and a real need to feed the increasing appetites of Sydney siders for interesting, quality and family friendly offerings that’s driving much of our evolution”.


LATE 2015:


J&M (October) - Merivale presents J&M, an intimate whisky bar on Level 3 of the historic Angel Hotel. Officially opening its doors in late October, J&M will first launch as a Chivas Regal showcase, bringing to life the meticulously blended flavour notes of Chivas 18 to create a unique, sensory whisky experience in Sydney’s CBD. J&M is a tribute to the late, legendary Mr. John, the ingenious Merivale Hemmes and their multi-level fashion outlet House of Merivale that once stood proudly at the historic hotel.


The Paddington (November) – Merivale will launch The Paddington (formerly The Paddington Arms), on Oxford Street in November. Ben Greeno, formerly of Momofuku Seiobo, is moving from the rarefied air of a fine-dining kitchen to lead the culinary charge. Rotisserie takes the lead, with Ben roasting everything from chicken, whole stuffed fish, lamb rump and beef through to Jerusalem artichokes and celeriac. Ben’s vision is to bring the fun to his pub menu, with a focus on dishes that can be shared amongst friends. The Paddington will also be home to an experience-led cocktail bar, led by Palmer & Co.’s Sam Egerton.


Chicken Shop (late 2015) – With fond memories of his Aunt’s chicken shop in Devon, UK, Greeno will launch his own in the small shopfront next to The Paddington, serving take-away only rotisserie chicken, salads and sandwiches. 


EARLY 2016:


Queen Victoria Hotel (January) - The acquisition of the Queen Victoria Hotel in April 2015 marked Merivale’s first foray into Sydney’s eclectic inner west. The property will be re-launched in January, with a kitchen spearheaded by a dynamic culinary trio - Christopher Hogarth and Patrick Friesen of Manly’s Papi Chulo, and former Mr. Wong dim sum master, Eric Koh. They will be delivering a Cantonese-style menu of flavour-packed Hong Kong classics with traditionally prepared BBQ meats and Australia’s best seafood.


Newport Arms (January/February) - Merivale acquired this historic gem in March 2015. The first stage of landmark redevelopment will open in January-February 2016 with an exciting food and drink concept, led by newly-appointed Executive Chef Sebastien Lutaud. With over 15 years Michelin and hatted restaurant experience, Sebastien will curate a sensational range of food stalls, alongside ‘Vinnie’s Pizzeria’, serving authentic wood-fired creations by Merivale’s own pizza maestro, Vincenzo Biondini. The existing sunset bar will be renovated, along with the addition of a new cocktail bar.


Taking full advantage of its magnificent location and natural surrounds while celebrating the heritage of the hotel itself, Merivale’s long-term vision is to deliver a fresh and expanded mix of food, entertainment, social and cultural experiences. Stages two and three will be revealed in 2016.


Fred’s (February) - Merivale will open an exciting new restaurant concept at 380 Oxford Street in early 2016, led by an alum of Chez Panisse and the Napa Valley’s three-Michelin-starred French Laundry, Danielle Alvarez. Fred’s is shaped by Danielle’s passionate food philosophy - elevating already perfect produce using old-world techniques such as cooking with a wood-fired hearth and oven. She allows the ingredients to take the lead and inform the menu – “the ingredient will tell you how it’s meant to be used”.  Since arriving in Sydney, Danielle has forged relationships with organic farmers, including two based in the Blue Mountains who specialise in heirloom vegetables, and in the Hawkesbury. Danielle’s hands-on approach extends to making her own bread, butter, pasta and charcuterie. In keeping with Danielle’s philosophy, the 120-strong wine list, curated by the award-winning Adrian Filiuta, will focus on small-batch wines and feature an extensive ‘wine by the glass’ list that will change daily based on Danielle’s menu.


Sussex 1854 (February): The basement of Fred’s looks set to be home to a tapas bar and eatery, with stunning interiors and seasonally-led cocktails that echo Danielle’s focus on enhancing quality ingredients.


Wine bar, King Street (February): Currently home to the Work in Progress pop-up bar, 50 King Street will be transformed into a sophisticated still-to-be-named European wine bar, offering small bites and sharing plates to complement an extensive wine list curated by MS Franck Moreau.


Merivale is also evolving its existing portfolio of venues. The ivy Pool Club will unveil a whole new look in October 2015, transforming from LA Glitz to the Italian Riviera. This will be echoed by a sophisticated new menu curated by Uccello’s David Lovett and pizza maestro Vincenzo Biondini. A five-day Italian extravaganza from 19-23 October will launch the new look Pool Club in style, with long-table dinners and opulent poolside parties. Tickets are on sale now.


Further details and opening dates for each venue will be announced in due course.


For media enquiries please contact:


Rebecca Gibbs

Publicity Manager, Merivale

Phone: 02 9240 3056

Email: [email protected]



Originally a fashion house, Merivale, owned by the Hemmes family, has been established in Australia for 60 years. The Hemmes family are developing and operating pioneers within the hospitality industry, owning a growing portfolio of nearly 60 restaurants, bars, pubs, hotels and function spaces in Sydney. Justin Hemmes is the Chief Executive Officer of Merivale.

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