Home' Australian Hotelier : AH MARCH 2017 Contents 28 | MARCH 2017 AUSTRALIAN HOTELIER
component of the venue, and play on the traditional tavern
aesthetic on the ground floor.
“Just somewhere that was quite moody, had a lot of dark
timber panelling and was quite traditional. We were going
down that sort of road and we had a strong process to make
sure it wasn’t too inspired by the food. We wanted to ensure
that there was always a bit of a contradiction between that
food offering and make it feel a bit unexpected,” states Ho.
To create that moody vibe, a lot of dark timbers were
used in the downstairs public bar and restaurant, along with
recycled timber flooring. Combinations of rough sawn and
polished timbers were used to create a welcoming and textural
environment. The space is also home to a long zinc bar top and
an oil enamel-painted panel ceiling. Vintage pendants, shades
and wine bottles scattered throughout the space finish it off.
Upstairs houses the Smelly Goat cocktail bar and terrace
seating for diners. The aesthetic is much lighter, more feminine
and quirky – between taxidermy, statuettes, paintings and
vases, there is always something for a group having a few
drinks to look at.
Smelly Goat’s décor is comprised of fabric panelled walls,
rust and petrol blue leather banquettes, and a yellow onyx bar
top. The aesthetic continues on the moodiness of downstairs,
while adding several pops of colour – making it the natural
progression between the public bar and the terrace.
The terrace takes advantage of natural lighting, where the
other areas shy away from it. Encaustic and inlay tiles from the
Middle East bring plenty of colour to the space, while retro-
fitted shutters sourced out of Europe add pops of white. The
area is finished off with greenery throughout.
As with other Merivale venues, the design of the venue has
been deliberate in ensuring that there is a journey through the
different spaces, to encourage a more holistic experience and
repeat visits, as Ho explains.
“The idea is that as you move from the entry through to
the terrace upstairs. Downstairs is a bit more masculine and
upstairs is a bit more playful and a bit more eclectic.”
JUST A BIT FANCY
While playing with the concept of a traditional pub versus
the more trailblazing concepts that Merivale is known for,
the one thing that Queens Hotel continues to do is create
elegance through attention to detail in styling. Every curio
combines with the others to create an elegant space that is still
welcoming to all – from the mosaic queen’s silhouette on entry
to the pub, through to the small tassled lampshades on some of
the tables. For Ho, this is best represented in the Smelly Goat
cocktail bar, where the design team pushed the boundaries of
what they would normally create in a similar space.
Patrons have also been impressed by the venue, which brings
a slightly more refined feel to that end of Enmore.
“I think there have been a lot of people in the area that have
wanted a place that feels a little bit more grown up, so it’s been
a good response from the local community as well as people
who have been going there as a destination,” states Ho.
And of course, the pub gets all the fundamentals right – it’s
welcoming to all, has some great (albeit untraditional) pub
food, and is a great to place to have a few drinks in, regardless
of the occasion, or lack thereof. In fact, Friesen has the perfect
night out planned at Queens Hotel.
“If I was going there for dinner, I’d want to sit upstairs in the
terrace. But then I would migrate to the bar downstairs after
dinner. There’s lots of little dark corners. You lose an evening
there pretty quickly.”
DESIGN & BUILD
A dark space can look great and create
an intimate atmosphere, but get it wrong
and it can feel claustrophobic. Kelvin
Ho explains how that was avoided in the
Queens Hotel public bar:
“It’s playing with the texture, and the
combination of them. So some timbers
might just have a stain finish and some
have a paint finish, and then there’s
the lacquer that we’ve used. We used
a lot of gloss finishes to create a lot of
reflection as well. So although it’s a very
dark palette, it’s also with lighting and
little accents of brass here and there. So
while the space feels quite intimate, by
being conscious of texture and reflection
you can create a lot of depth as well so it
doesn’t feel claustrophobic.”
The Smelly Goat cocktail lounge
The public bar
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