‘Our Alex’ opening will be a while yet
The Alexandria Hotel will not re-open its doors until next year, despite initial suggestions that it would be up and running by November.
The heritage-listed pub’s opening date will be announced in the new year by its buyer, Merivale Group.
Ben Noblet from the Alexandria Residents Action Group (ARAG) said: “I think it’s quite clear the job was a little bit bigger than they expected.”
Merivale’s CEO, Justin Hemmes, commented on the GoodFood website in August that he planned to open the pub by mid-November. However, with the building interiors gutted, Merivale now admits this was overly optimistic.
“As so much of the venue had been ripped out to prepare for the residential development, there was a considerable amount of initial work that needed to be done,” said Merivale spokesperson Rebecca Gibbs.
The pub was slated for total demolition to be replaced by a seven-storey block of residential housing. It was saved thanks to a determined campaign by ARAG and other local residents that saw more than 1,000 objections lodged with the City of Sydney.
Mr Hemmes recently met with members of ARAG to discuss the future of the site. His intention is to “[bring] back the inside to its original state and something a bit funkier in the courtyard”, according to Ben Noblet.
After purchasing the Alex, Merivale invited the Alexandria community to submit ideas for the redevelopment of the outdoor area through its “Our Alex” website. “We really want to deliver something they will continue to be proud of,” said Ms Gibbs.
Many ideas have been submitted, and Sam Ali from Newtown’s COMMUNE creative space will review the submissions and curate the courtyard.