Home' Australian Hotelier : AH DECEMBER 2015 Contents COMMUNITY
AUSTRALIAN HOTELIER DECEMBER 2015 | 27
DESIGN & BUILD
fter purchasing Newington Inn from
publican Tim Condon last year, the team
at Solotel decided that there was a real
opportunity for the suburb of Petersham
to have a new hospitality offering that would be a
‘hang-out space’ reflective of the arts and cultural
scene in the area. With this in mind, renovations
were made in late September to recreate the venue
as Public House Petersham.
The name change reflects the idea that the
venue is a great space for the local community and
social clubs to use as a gathering place. It is also a
nod to the venue’s history, as it is the oldest public
house in the area.
As an older hotel, it’s no surprise that Newington
Inn had a very traditional pub layout and décor.
Solotel’s complete renovation of the hotel has
transformed the space with an industrial aesthetic.
The structural and heritage aspects of the building
remained untouched, however the interiors were
completely overhauled with new flooring and wall
panelling, booth seating and the addition of a new
The aim of the refurbishments was to create
a space for locals to relax in and socialise with
their friends in a modern and comfortable setting.
There is a great focus on craft beer, wine on tap
and locally-produced food that is perfect for
sharing. Quite simply, the ethos of Public House
is to gather the local community for social events
and to share ideas.
Unlike most other hotel renovations –
where outside firms are hired to handle the
transformation – these refurbishments were
overseen by Solotel’s Design Manager, Georgie
Hutchinson. Together with Director Elliot
Solomon, Hutchinson developed the design
concept for Public House, drawing inspiration
from industrial venues in the United States.
Eye-catching features of the venue include
murals from local artists and a shipping container
in the beer garden with recycled pallet seating
that offers a cosy seating area for those who
prefer to be in the shade. It’s an industrial twist
on a traditional Australian beer garden. Street art
installations are also used throughout the venue,
in line with the art scene in the suburb – with
plenty more space for emerging local artists to add
to in the future.
No refurbishment is without challenges, and
Public House’s was like a game of Tetris. The
aforementioned shipping container had to be
moved with a crane into position in one corner of
the beer garden. As luck would have it, not only
did the container have to be manoeuvred around
a large and established tree, the crane driver also
had some inclement weather to deal with. With
some patience and great navigation, the driver
was able to position the container perfectly – not
without some nails bitten first!
RENEW, REUSE, RECYCLE
Trying to project the ethos of the local
community and its artistic aesthetic, there was
a big focus on using recycled materials and
upcycling where possible. Furnishings were
bought second-hand and repurposed, some items
were brought in from other Solotel venues and
freshened up, and staff had a working bee where
tasks included painting, creating artwork and
planting a herb garden.
“Almost nothing new has been purchased. This
is a real success for us as we are trying to create
a real local venue so using existing materials
and working with our local community was a
priority,” said Georgie Hutchinson, of the project.
Licensee Amanda Verratti – who had previously
worked as an assistant manager at several
other Solotel venues, including Darlo Bar – was
overjoyed by the opening. “I’m absolutely thrilled
to be part of Public House Petersham, the venue is
absolutely amazing and the response we have had
in this short amount of time has been fantastic,”
“We wanted the venue to open feeling lived-in;
we didn’t want people to walk in to a fresh, stark,
uncomfortable environment. We want people to
feel relaxed and like they can talk and be noisy
and have fun! The décor and layout was made
with this in mind.
THE REINVENTION OF AN INNER WEST SYDNEY PUB IS THE LATEST VENUE
OPENING FROM SOLOTEL – AND IT’S A BIT OF A LOCAL ART PROJECT.
Solotel’s Design Manager, Georgie
Hutchinson, shares her favourite
décor elements of Public House
1. Exterior street art and layered neon
signage on Stanmore Road
Street art is such an indicator of the style
and vibe of the Inner West. The facade
is a really exciting design element, as it
speaks of who we are as a venue. The
piece was a collaboration between two
very well-known local street artists, and
the neon sign was designed in house,
and made by our local neon suppliers.
I love that our front door is fun, exciting
and always welcoming.
2. Wallpaper in the pinball
The wallpaper was sourced from
scouring the internet, hunting for
images that were slightly tongue-in-
cheek. The result is so much fun.
Layers on layers of hilarious 70s and
80s images of daggy arcade game
halls and their patrons. I love the
flashing lights of the pinnie machines
as the extra layer to this room – it’s a
lot of fun!
3. Pallet furniture
We had piles and piles of pallets sitting
out in the carpark being useless.
The builder and I did some serious
MacGyvering to get them right – it
was like an epic game of Tetris. It was
important for us to recycle and reuse
everywhere we could, so these were
a great result for us. And they’re also
Links Archive AH NOVEMBER 2015 AH FEBRUARY 2016 Navigation Previous Page Next Page