Despite still looking like a building site this week, Merivale CEO Justin Hemmes is confident that The Newport will open on Good Friday, March 25. The opening date has been pushed back at least twice and was originally scheduled to open by Christmas.
The iconic Northern Beaches hotel is the Merivale Groups latest acquisition and was purchased 12 months ago for a reported $50 million from the Bayfield Hotel Group .
The redesign of the Pittwater venue has been built around a series of landscaped areas, bars and outdoor casual eateries with a family-friendly feel. Patrons can pick and choose various areas to eat from including the Burger Shack, wood-fired pizzas at Vinnie’s Pizza, fresh seafood, seasonal salads and coffee and pastries at The Kiosk.
The dining options of The Newport will be complemented with a large games area, making it a welcoming space for families. Designed with fun in mind, the activities area will include a skittle alley, giant jenga puzzle game, magnetised scrabble, ping pong tables, pommel horses, boxing bags and two bikes with ‘crazy’ clocks where customers can recharge their phones. There will also be a huge outdoor concrete ping pong table.
The Pavilion spills out to a landscaped deck and a stage with lots of different seating areas. The Newport has been landscaped with a cross section of zoned areas including a lawn for picnickers. There is also a Palm Springs inspired cactus garden, a Parisian-style park with shady pear trees and circular water feature where kids, both big and little, will be encouraged to sit on the side and dangle their feet in the water.
The hotel will also offer a program of free activities.
Over the Easter long weekend and to celebrate the opening there will be face painting, a petting zoo and Easter egg hunts for the children. Gold coin donations will be also be collected for local charity Mums For Mums.
Live music will feature heavily at The Newport, with Merivale’s Sunday Sundown live music program to continue at the pub.
It is the biggest project undertaken by Merivale to date and interestingly, Hemmes seems to be taking on the clubs at their own game, creating a casual family friendly destination.
Stage one is the first of the long term redevelopment of the pub. Mr Hemmes estimated that the redevelopment of the 11,500sq m site would take five years.