The Abbotsford pub sports a classy revamp but maintains the things that matter most: beer, bingo and counter meals.
October 15, 2014
Rescued from demolition, the Terminus Hotel has been reimagined, revamped and replenished from its former days as a local dive — all while holding onto its trademark laidback charm.
It's tough saving drinking establishments in sought-after locations from the lusty eyes of real-estate developers these days (Melbourne music venue The Palace, suffered a more unfortunate fate), but a quality parma and pint can clearly go a long way to sway the powers that be. Ultimately, it was venue veterans Matt and Andy Mullins, Tom Birch and Doug Maskiell from Sand Hill Road hospitality group who found themselves with the keys to the grand old property.
Originally built in 1938, the pub has been looking rather haggard in recent years. But Techne Architects — the designers responsible for the award-winning Prahran Hotel refurbishment — were primed to attack the interior with creative abandon. What results is a multilevel venue, plush with cushioned booths and lush with green fernery.
A careful balance between the slick party sling-back of Southside and local Richmond ruffian has been achieved; rich wooden surfaces, emerald tiles and just a faint accent of the ol' AstroTurf keep things colloquial. Consequently, they've created a polished space that still manages to be accessible and unthreatening to families, foodies, and 3am party-harders alike. Food-wise, on-trend dishes like buttermilk popcorn chicken ($15), orange and bourbon pulled pork sliders ($16) will be included on the brand new menu, along with traditional pub crowd-pleasers, the pie floater with mushy peas ($24) and beer battered fish and chips ($24).
The Terminus has retained its heritage-protected, lurid green facade — in fact, the green colour scheme has been emphasised throughout the venue's five bars, rather than downplayed. But inside, the broken tiles and sticky carpets have been replaced with an 'urban jungle beer garden', and the interior has been fitted with tropical trees, expansive windows and a glass roof that refuses to compromise on exposure to problematic elements, despite the open surrounds. It's another sophisticated, impressive design from this crew. That said, sometimes a bit of nostalgic Australiana is nice too — and for that reason, bingo night will stay.