After a nine-month overhaul, the Surry Hills pub has finally reopened and is already impressing locals with its fresh fit-out and relaxed vibe. Good thing that was the vision co-owners Luke Butler and Roger Gregg had for the Sydney pub’s revival.
“We wanted to create a true local pub where neighbours can drop in and catch up with each other,” says Luke.
“Already we are seeing this happen on a daily basis and it’s great. It’s a great local pub with heaps of character.
“We were careful not to polish the venue and lose that character. It’s been The Carrington since 1877 so we thought it was important to retain some of the imperfections that tell the pub’s story.”
Sitting in prime position on the corner of Bourke and Arthur streets, The Carrington is split into three distinct spaces. The Bourke Street bar boasts the old-fashioned pub feel with heritage-tiled walls and restored parquetry floors adding a touch of class. On Arthur Street the internal garden bar is a light, plant-filled area perfect for lazy Sundays, cheeky date nights or special occasions, including private functions. Then there’s ‘The Poke’, an intimate space with large tables and leather-clad benches*.
The menu, designed by Glebe Point Diner’s Alex Kearns and head chef Jon Cowan, includes classic dishes with a few nods to our European friends. The wine list, featuring local and European products, focusses on affordable quality while tap beers include Stone & Wood, Rocks Brewing Co and Little Creatures.
General manager Tom Harrison, of Kitchen By Mike fame, heads up the venue, adding a wealth of experience to what Luke described as a “tireless” team he is very proud of.
“The team is everything,” he says.
“No matter the vision or the fit out, a venue is only as good as its people. We’re really lucky to have such a great team on board.”
While Luke is pleased the team was able to deliver on the original vision, he says The Carrington will always be a work-in-progress and will constantly evolve to remain fresh.
For now, it’s a casual approach catering to every man and his dog. Literally.
“Patrons should feel comfortable treating the pub like their lounge room,” says Luke. “Dogs are welcome—in fact encouraged—to attend the venue. We simply want the venue to be a fun, relaxing place to catch up with friends for a casual drink, lunch or dinner.”
*Writing that sentence made me think of Ron Burgundy. Anyone else? No? Just me? #awks
Image credit: Daryl Kong