An iconic beach bar starts a new chapter – Terrigal Beach House is open!
They say summer bodies are prepared in winter, and whilst this reveal has taken a little longer than we had hoped, my golly it is worth the wait – Terrigal Beach House (TBH) is open!
With anticipation, visitors and locals alike have been pacing the pathway outside the iconic Crowne Plaza Terrigal Pacific to find out when our beloved beachside bar would be welcoming us back. The doors are open, the beer is cold and the venue is summer ready!
When you enter the space, it feels fresh and you find yourself assessing what has changed. As you wander inside you are welcomed with the addition of a new bar featuring a beautiful balustrade at the front, creating a hub that is a defining point of the bar. This cylindrical feature gives it character and Craig Madgwick, of Design Madgwick, has softened the space through using various materials intermittently, from the white-washed wooden panelling to the decorative tiles, all helping to create depth and warmth in what is a significant space.
“We wanted to create a space that felt casual and relaxed, a reflection of its beachside location. Soft sandy tones and textural timbers mix with a sophisticated colour palette to reinvent a classic close to many people’s hearts, the pulse of the town has been reinvigorated,”
Craig explains his vision for the venue. The team have cleverly transformed what was previously underutilised space at the back of the venue into a dedicated sports bar, where even the most attentive partner can sneak a look at a game from the forecourt and see the score without anyone noticing.
I asked the Crowne Plaza’s General Manager, Cameron Abbott, why the rebrand. He explains that “It is an evolvement; we are evolving with the area. Terrigal is maturing and we are changing with it. We need to cater to all demographics.” He continues “it’s a great place to come to catch up with your mates, over a great bite to eat and a beer. It’s a chilled-out environment, great vibe and good times.”
He highlights a feature of the front bar is the cocktail space. “The team members are constantly making cocktails; they are creating what they love doing – mixing drinks.” Along with the multitude of beer taps there’s two additional taps that catch my eye, Cameron explains “We do a great Rosé Spritz, its actually on tap, served in a beautiful Spritz glass, filled with strawberries and very refreshing.” Sounds like just the cure to hot summer afternoons, we think!
The kitchen team at TBH worked with Laundy Hotels Group Executive Chef Jamie Gannon (By Fassnidge and Laundy Hotels). They have gone on to create a fresh menu reflective of the local environment.
“With this menu we wanted to create options that were welcoming, fuss free and took full advantage of the location and the different styles of dining experiences guests will be after, whether that be popping in for a beer and a taco after the beach or catching up with friends for a long lunch on the weekend. Expect elevated twists on the classics and food that is fresh and incorporates a variety of flavours and complementary textures,” said Gannon.
In the opening weeks the Fish Taco’s, Grilled Prawn Tostadas, and gourmet pizzas have been popular as casual bites, with the Prawn Linguine and Rump Steaks being sensational main-style dishes. What the culinary team has achieved is a balance of dishes to meet your purpose of visiting TBH, be it drinks with friends or a special meal you can tailor the menu to suit.
This flexibility has been met with precision by the venue manager Chris Beath, who has curated a beverage offering ranging from beautiful Australian wines such as a Pikes Shiraz Tempranillo and the Phillip Shaw ‘The Architect’ Chardonnay to a cocktail list with all the classics, including three choices of Spritz - Rosé, Aperol or Sangria.
The sharing jugs include a Watermelon and Raspberry Cooler with Vodka, Chambord and Watermelon Liqueur, fresh watermelon, raspberries, and lime topped with soda & lemonade - sounds like the perfect thirst quencher. Finally, what if you just want an ice-cold beer? You are in the right place with a full selection on offer!
My conversation with Cameron drifts to the history of this iconic beach bar, and that some people may not be on-board with change and still refer to the affectionate title of ‘The Beery’.
“Everybody knows it as the beery, you can’t change what people call something. It endears itself to a lot of people, what is important to remember is this particular venue has been important to so many Coasties. We have people working here whose parents met at or worked at Key Largo nightclub. It is a whole full circle of the life of a Coastie, and the hotel is an institution in so many ways. One of those really successful ways is that this place gives opportunities for people to earn their first dollars.”
He is right, many a fresh-faced Coastie has worked the bar over the years and in many ways, be it the Florida Beach Bar, The Beery or the now Terrigal Beach House, this is the heartbeat of Terrigal.
As we sit at a high table just inside one of the 3 sets of large bi-fold doors opening to the panoramic forecourt, I let myself take it in. The view of the Norfolk Pines towering above us, the glimpses of Wamberal beach through the hustle of everyday Terrigal life happening on the street and beach in front of us. The team have rejuvenated our great Dame for her next chapter, and she is ready to welcome the whole family. Be it for dinner (kids and dogs included) to a long lunch with friends, Terrigal Beach House is exactly how you picture relaxing afternoons to be… kind of perfect.