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A far cry from its former life as a dingy pub, Melbourneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Newmarket Hotel has been reincarnated by an entrepreneur turned gastro-pub king and star architects Six Degrees.

bVSmarket A far cry from its former life as a dingy THE DINING AREA FEATURES â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;TUBâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Eastern European pub, Melbourneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s CHAIRS BY LOCAL Newmarket Hotel has been MANUFACTURER reincarnated by an affable KENDALL; AND REMIND OWNER JULIAN GERNER entrepreneur turned OF FAMILY DINING IN A far cry from its former life as a dingy Eastern European gastro-pub king. THE â&#x20AC;&#x2122;70S AND â&#x20AC;&#x2122;80S. TOM pub, Melbourneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Newmarket Hotel has been reincarnated DIXON â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;BEATâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; LIGHTS HANG king. ABOVE. DURING by an affable entrepreneur turned gastro-pub

>:/G7<5B63 :.?82A DEMOLITION, OLD HAND-BLOCKED WALLPAPER WAS DISCOVERED BEHIND ONE OF THE WALLS. WHILE IT COULDNâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;T BE SALVAGED, THE PATTERN WAS REPRODUCED IN

photographer: earl carter producer: annemarie kiely text: carli philips

A NEW WALLPAPER RUN THAT NOW FEATURES AS A UNIQUE PANEL.

THE NEW MARKET HOTELâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S REVAMPED BAR AND DINING AREA DRAWS ON ST KILDAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S COLOURFUL PAST. THE â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;TUBâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; CHAIRS ARE BY LOCAL MANUFACTURER KENDALL AND REMIND OWNER JULIAN GERNER OF FAMILY DINING IN THE â&#x20AC;&#x2122;70S AND â&#x20AC;&#x2122;80S. BRICKS IN CREAM, ORANGE AND BROWN REFLECT THE BRICK COLOURS FOUND IN MELBOURNEâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S INNER BAYSIDE AREA, AND THE PRESSED METAL CEILING REPRESENTS A LOOK OF DAYS GONE BY.

THE NEW MARKET HOTELâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S REVAMPED BAR AND DINING AREA DRAWS ON ST KILDAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S COLOURFUL PAST. THE â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;TUBâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; CHAIRS ARE BY LOCAL MANUFACTURER KENDALL AND REMIND OWNER JULIAN GERNER OF FAMILY DINING IN THE â&#x20AC;&#x2122;70S AND â&#x20AC;&#x2122;80S. BRICKS IN CREAM, ORANGE AND BROWN REFLECT THE BRICK COLOURS FOUND IN MELBOURNEâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S INNER BAYSIDE AREA, AND THE PRESSED METAL CEILING REPRESENTS A LOOK OF DAYS GONE BY.

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photographer: earl carter producer: annemarie kiely text: carli philips

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CATHEDRAL-STYLE ARCHES, OPPOSITE, TOP, DIVIDE THE INDOOR DINING ROOM. THE SKYLIGHT ABOVE ILLUMINATES THE BLUE CEILING, CASTING A MOODY GLOW. THE TARTAN CARPET IS A NOD TO ST KILDAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S ONCE-THRIVING PUNK SCENE. BELOW LEFT: MEXICAN TILES PROVIDE A VISUAL LINK TO THE KITCHENâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S LATIN STREET FOOD MENU. BELOW RIGHT: JULIAN GERNER, RIGHT, AND ARCHITECT MARK HEALY, LEFT, IN THE FRONT BAR. THIS PAGE: THE PRIVATE â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;CHEFâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S TABLEâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; SEATS 16 AND IS MADE FROM RECYLED TIMBER. HANGING ABOVE IS A CHANDELIER OF DRIED VEGETABLES.

located in the cosmopolitan bayside suburb of St Kilda, Melbourneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Newmarket Hotel has for decades been a grim if harmless presence, an old-school â&#x20AC;&#x153;diveâ&#x20AC;? where topless waitresses served schnitzel and punters played pool. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an image thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been almost entirely relegated to the history books by 38-year-old Julian Gerner, the entrepreneur who saw potential beyond the pubâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s tawdry reputation to the refined pub dining experience it could become. After a three-year makeover, the refurbished 19thcentury public house has been christened by its maker, Mark Healy of Six Degrees Architects, as a â&#x20AC;&#x153;stripped back modern templeâ&#x20AC;?. Step behind the heritage red brick-and-green facade and the incongruity is staggering. The partially sheltered â&#x20AC;&#x153;bombed-out shellâ&#x20AC;? of the original hotel foyer protectively encases the existing ruin, which is caroled off as an open public bar. From here, ramp access leads into the gleaming new glass and exposed steel structure. Buzzing with â&#x20AC;&#x153;retro Caliâ&#x20AC;? music, patrons enjoying pitchers of West Coast cocktails and Latin street food (courtesy of award-winning consultant chef Paul Wilson), the contemporary setting has been given a full facelift and is now infused with Hispanic hedonism. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There are three drivers in hospitality: food, entertainment and accommodation,â&#x20AC;? says Gerner. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We specialise in food.â&#x20AC;? As the public face of Melbourne Pub Group and Public House Group, Gerner co-owns and directs an impressive portfolio of hotels and bars across inner Melbourne â&#x20AC;&#x201C; all of which have been designed by Six Degrees. His foolproof formula involves breathing new life into dilapidated hospitality venues: gutting and refurbishing iconic institutions, delivering high quality yet casual food, then watching as the hipster crowds follow. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I love the history and culture of hotels,â&#x20AC;? says Gerner. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They have such a strong connection to the fabric of our society and the local communities.â&#x20AC;? Tucked between an office building laneway and multi-residential block in the red-light district of Inkerman Road, Gerner and Healy embraced the siteâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sordid past, gritty location and melting pot of subcultures. Despite increasing gentrification, the design intention was never to over-sanitise, but rather to â&#x20AC;&#x153;meld elements of the old with comforts of the newâ&#x20AC;?, says Gerner. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve always been on the lookout for hotels with a presence.â&#x20AC;? In response to the narrow site, Healy created lineal multi-levels, melding indoor and outdoor spaces while avoiding streetscape views. Various interconnecting zones stem from the internal brick bar, which opens up to a beer garden for alfresco grazing. At the rear, a private 16-seater â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Chefsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Tableâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, made from slabs of recycled timber, sits underneath a chandelier of dried vegetables and a pressed metal ceiling which, says Gerner, â&#x20AC;&#x153;pays homage to the seedy ballrooms and glory of old St. Kildaâ&#x20AC;?. Adds Healy, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Most of the concrete and some structural steelwork is exposed. Even the electrical cupboards have been left with the doors open. These elements are about expressing honesty and not covering things up.â&#x20AC;? The slightly elevated indoor dining area runs along the eastern wall, divided by raw concrete arches. A long, thin skylight snakes the length of the roof, illuminating the blue ceiling and clusters of stars inspired by the lavishly decorated tombs in Egyptâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Valley of the Queens. This mismatched scheme softens Newmarketâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s industrial-style bones. Intended to reflect the eclectic character of the area, deliberate kitsch is prominent: â&#x20AC;&#x153;dark, bad laminexâ&#x20AC;? at the communal tables, Tom Dixon â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Beatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; lights, â&#x20AC;&#x2122;70s â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Neo Tubâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; chairs by local manufacturer Kendall, and tartan carpet are a nod to the punk scene that once flourished here. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is what gives richness to public projects,â&#x20AC;? says Healy. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Offering memory triggers to a wide range of people; making it a high-use, inclusive space.â&#x20AC;? A little grunge, a lot of cool and a big welcome to the neighbourhood. CARLI PHILIPS The Newmarket Hotel, (03) 9537 1777; newmarketstkilda.com.au. C<4B2 96C6;4 7B9F.B4 11

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Vogue Living, November 2013