The Park House Food Merchants is a 200-seat restaurant within the newly rebuilt Mona Vale Hotel on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. The restaurant has been conceived as a loft-style art warehouse, a sympathetic attempt to reconcile the old motel; 70s coastal and retro.
Somewhere between Donald Judd and Scandinavian modernism, the loft is both robust and curated, well equipped to cater to the heavy traffic and coastal location, the venue is an expressive and artistic insertion into the dilapidated shell of the old hotel. Part art gallery, part loft, all motel charm.
The project explored various masonry (brickwork) forms, arches, corbels and coursing, and combined them with an array of specific lighting, furnishing, and artwork. Alexander &CO. augmented and exposed the existing steel and timber structure to create a double story volume both internally and externally under the retractable roof. This volume is illuminated by custom high bay pendants and includes custom oversized paintings to the loft void.
The internal restaurant is built around an open show kitchen with recycled brick arches. Polished concrete floors throughout are replaced in feature moments with fan-shaped Carrara mosaic tiles, custom-colored patterns and stone chequer plate tile coursing. An internal dining height bar with retro granite plays a centerpiece while Art Deco detailing to an internal brick fireplace creates niches and nooks for lounge room dining. Externally, stacked logs are displayed and a double-sided fireplace and hearth anchor the lounge areas and high bar, all under the suspended fairly lights which illuminate a double height courtyard and retractable roof.
The final venue has a slightly nostalgic, tactile patina. Filled with both custom Oregon and hardwood furniture, leather banquettes and reclaimed and repurposed light fittings and furniture, the venue has a distinctly “found” quality, unexpected and inviting but artistically engaging and true to its inspiration.