The Glenmore is back. And it's better than ever. After being closed for nine long months to accommodate renovations, the doors have once again been flung open. The much loved local's style pub remains on ground level, but as you head up the stairs towards the first level and rooftop terrace, you can see just how much this oldie has been spruced up. This refurb has been one of those ones where the original charm of the pub has been enhanced, rather than eliminated.
Built in 1921, the heritage listed hotel has had many of its features restored to their original state, including fireplaces and brighter walls (discovered by painstakingly peeling off each layer of paint). Overseen by the heritage council during the construction stage, the Glenmore now has a swanky Ladies Pamper Parlour (toilets to the rest of us), a lounge area on the first floor where the hotel rooms use to be, along with a new cocktail bar, and collection of rooms, with juliette balconies, plush carpets, retro posters and a pool table.
Apart from the obvious new decor and slightly altered floor plan, there's other smaller touches that might go unnoticed by most, including environmentally friendly cellar pumps. But one of the best parts of the new look Glenmore has to be the rooftop terrace. The views of the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House can be seen clearer from this area. The retractable roof is a great addition, along with the rustic style wooden benches and red industrial chairs, to go with the new kitchen.
On the lower level, the menu is divided into Food to Fight over, The Greens, Little Tacklers, Two Hands, Knives and Forks and Sweet Tooth. The Popcorn Chicken, ($15.50) served with chilli lime mayonnaise is an easy bite sized morsel for in between drinks. You can't go past The Glenmore Burger ($18.50) if you're looking for something more substantial, because pubs and burgers are more often than not best mates. The grilled house-made wagyu burger is served up with tonnes of toppings and a lashing of chunky-style chips. Yep, proper pub grub.
If you're on the rooftop, you have to try the Rocks favourite, corn on the cob with chilli lime butter and a sprinkling of cheese, ($8) and bbq style lamb and chorizo skewers, with a topping of corn and tomato salsa ($16). For cocktails in the lounge area, the Freska Nova ($15), sparkling wine, Aperol, grapefruit juice and a squeeze of apricot puree is perfect for lazy hot summer nights. Alternatively, there's a compact list of wines, beers, and Dom Perignon for special occasions, and cocktails jugs. Try the Rooftop Royale (all jugs $28) for a large group.
So to owner, Martin Short, we say thanks and congratulations. This new look Glenmore spruces things up without losing any old world pub charm and is a solid contribution to the Rocks' dining and watering hole traps.
Images: Trent van der Jagt.