A new era for the Merewether Beach Hotel
It’s one of Newcastle’s most iconic venues and as of this week, the future plans for Merewether Beach Hotel were revealed, with the first phase of the restoration set to open in April.
Acquired by hotelier, Glenn Piper in May 2022 the Beach Hotel - more affectionately known as ‘The Beaches’ by locals will continue to be a place where steel city meets laid-back coastal ease and puts Australian surf culture firmly at its heart with Piper taking great time and care getting to know the community and its enduring spirit to help shape the venue's next chapter.
So what can you expect from the renovation? The ultimate Aussie seaside pub; a timeless space where nostalgic and casual modern touches meet in all the right ways.
Glen, an avid surfer who grew up visiting relatives in Merewether and who is now passing on the same passion to his three young children, said of the transformation,
“The community has been gathering at The Beaches for generations, so taking on the custodianship of this landmark is a tremendous honour."
"With that comes great responsibility and it is incredibly important that we restore the Beaches to be a true reflection of its history and locals that have always made it their own.”
“More than just its Art Deco architecture and iconic views, we want it to be a homage to the medley of cultures that have shaped this storied place - the friends and the family, the surf and the city, the nostalgic and the modern - all under one roof where everyone is welcome”.
The first phase of the venue’s historic redevelopment will see the opening of Larrie’s, a hole-in-the-wall beachside kiosk reminiscent of the classic local milk bars of the 70s and 80s, in mid April. Pairing the salty, nostalgic flavours of suburban takeaway joints with the fresh, coastal spirit of its surrounds, Larrie’s is designed with the whole family in mind; a true community hub, serving up cheeky, modern twists on Aussie beach staples.
Designed in collaboration with Newcastle architects EJE Interiors, Larrie’s has taken cues from the classic Australian takeaway and bottle shops of decades past and paired them with an aesthetic that allude to the Merewether’s history as the home of the country’s biggest surf carnival.
Vintage brown and mustard tiled bars and aluminium-edged laminate countertops line the takeaway atop checkerboard floors, offering guests prime views of the beach as they share a plate of chicken-salt laden chips; the hum of retro-style fridges filled with the best Aussie brews and icy colas lure diners to grab a cold one to-go.
Due to the significance and scale of the venue, Glen and his team are taking a gradual approach to the refurbishment of other areas of The Beaches. The second phase, set for late 2023, will see the introduction of a revitalised ground floor including its expansive main bar, as well as the introduction of a new coastal dining experience on the first floor.
The vision is for The Beaches to continue to be intrinsically linked to its roots with a strong community-focus and connection to surf culture, helping to support local businesses and reinvigorate the area and continue the venues position as a local institution.