The Prince of Merewether

The Prince of Merewether dates back to 1876, however in 1989 the hotel was extensively damaged by the Newcastle earthquake and had to be entirely rebuilt; it now needed a lot of love. The bustling live music and pub scene in Newcastle has evolved into a sophisticated landscape. A real point of difference is required to survive amongst the constant competition. For this reason, the client wished for our Melbourne style to be incorporated into the tired Prince.

Our design needed to serve many functions. First and foremost, we needed to find a way to keep the beloved locals comfortable while introducing a new breed of patrons. Our aim was to establish the Prince of Merewether as the ultimate neighbourhood local; a place for the whole community to gather. To achieve this, we designed an old school front bar and sports bar, but with a contemporary twist. We used materials such as custom tartan carpet, wall panelling, oxidized brass and deep rich timbers, all harking back to the nostalgia of the traditional pub, whilst also being modern, tailored and comforting. Continuing the classic pub feel, we then wrapped the same deep, rich finishes into the bistro and transformed the high communal seating into low, intimate dining.

Upstairs was given a complete re-invigoration. In order to draw the crowds up to enjoy the sunshine, we created a lighter and brighter space ready for a cold brew and a festive Sunday session. The finishes to the upstairs bar reflect the indoor/outdoor nature of the space, with its expansive balcony and abundant greenery. Located just off the upstairs bar, the new private dining room is now the perfect intimate nook to gather and enjoy a special event. The incredibly versatile Prince also has a bottle shop which we brought it into the family with a sophisticated new look.

With its many and diverse spaces, the Prince was an exciting undertaking. By fusing contemporary elements of Melbourne based design and traditional flavour from the original pub, we were able to create a venue that regulars and newcomers alike can appreciate.

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Photographer – Jade Cantwell