The Alexandria Hotel, which has been empty since Merivale snapped it up for $ 10 million in 2016, will join Sydney’s party following the launch of hospitality launches, reopens and reboots.
The opening of “The Alex” in early November is an unexpected but calculated step from the hospitality giant, which already has a large number of documented locations to reopen. Its huge footprint and outdoor space make the hotel well-positioned to cope with the complex and changing rules of dining and floor space conditions.
“It’s a new concept for us,” says Merivale CEO Justin Hemmes. “We’re turning a traditional pub upside down.” The pub is currently deprived without a work kitchen inside.
Alex works instead with this abandoned smart vibe and will instead pump food out of three kitchens in shipping containers in the huge beer garden.
A kitchen will be the headline of a rotating menu of Merivale favorites — Dan Hong’s cheeseburger spring rolls are on the list — while Backyard at The Alex will host a rotating line-up of the city’s best food truck talent in the other two shipping containers.
First cabs outside the rankings are Firepop, which sells yakitori-style spears and chicken schnitzel specialist Wholly Schnit.
The pub will be home to DJs, live music, dance and sports screens. It will also be dog friendly.
“It has these wonderful rooms that can be used for meetings and events,” Hemmes says. “You can even sit behind the old bar if you want.”
The success of the outdoor space at Vic on the Park, which Merivale bought in 2017, provided inspiration for The Alex.
“It’s a great place,” Hemmes says. “It must be used.”