The Mona Vale Hotel is no more. One of Sydney’s biggest renovations of recent years is finally starting to take shape, bringing the sun-soaked suburb Park House Food & Liquor. The new, multipurpose dining and social space has been given a huge modern makeover with plans to roll out a further five-stage $12 million redevelopment in the next two years, making it a comprehensive and packed precinct with a mix of restaurants, cafe, pop-up markets, food trucks, event spaces, cocktail bars, a brew bar and outdoor enclaves.
Owners Fraser Short and Arthur Laundy are really pushing this as an open, inclusive and welcoming social space while still paying homage to the original site, which dates back to 1925 when it was the home of Old Rex Motel.
“Arthur and myself are passionate about reengaging the community in a positive and spirited fashion by offering them a hub to socialise, a place to meet up and, just as importantly, somewhere to be proud of”, said Short. “We see it as a local treasure in desperate need of a reimagining”.
First stage of the precinct is Park House Food Merchants, which is now open to the public and being pushed as an industrial warehouse transformed into a kitchen full of big, bold flavours and over-the-fire charcoal cooking. The 180-seated restaurant features an outdoor cocktail bar, two open fireplaces, and a generous share-style menu that should be perfect for summer, especially given the retractable roof.
A big Southern California influence can be found on the menu alongside multicultural influences, which means you’ll find plenty of Mexican, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flavours as the food options span whole suckling pig (carved at the table), loaded dips with Applewood smoked labneh and preserve with piquin chilli, and slow cooked lamb fore-quarter with herb pilav, tomato and pomegranate salsa.
The drinks list spans barrel-aged cocktails, a diverse selection of international wines, and local craft beer. The latter is especially vital for Park House, since they’ll be launching their own craft beer bar, Front Yard Brews & Burgers, before the year is over. Then it’ll be onto Parkside Truck Stop in early 2018. There’s some exciting times ahead for the Northern Beaches.