The old Clare Hotel is about to be reborn. Singapore-based hotel-restaurant entrepreneur Loh Lik Peng of Unlisted Collection has taken over the heritage-listed Chippendale building, intending to turn Broadway's beloved former pub into a boutique hotel — due to open this July as part of Central Park's brand new $2 billion Kensington Street laneway precinct.
As the first Australian venture for the group, the Old Clare Hotel sees Loh intending to replicate company's successful London/Shanghai/Singapore boutique hotel model in Sydney. Already announced, the hotel will feature three high profile restaurants including Automata (from former Momofuku sous chef, Clayton Wells) as part of the hotel on the Old Clare/Carlton United Brewery site. Wells is refurbishing the heritage-listed Chippendale building as a 60-seater, industrially-inspired eatery with Sydney architect and motorcycle expert Matt Machine. UK chef Jason Atherton will open the 120-seater Kensington Street Social, and Briton Sam Miller (former executive sous chef at Copenhagen's Noma) will also open his first solo restaurant, Silvereye, on the second floor.
Hotel-wise, the Old Clare venture will feature 62 guest rooms. Unlisted have worked with the award-winning Tonkin Zulaikha Greer Architects (Carriageworks) on the design, creating a blend of historic and modern aesthetic — high ceilings, heritage timber paneling, exposed brick (from the original foundation), all brought together amongst a contemporary, semi-industrial design.
The Old Clare's reception — located within the original pub area — is set to become a bar for both locals and guests, with coffee, cocktails and beers poured day and night. So you'll be able to revisit the Clare without shelling out for accommodation. Guests get the special treatment though, with a 14-metre rooftop pool and bar on the top of the Carlton United Brewery administration building. There's apparently going to be a 'cultural program' in place, and guests will be able to partake in a spot of sunrise poolside yoga. The hotel's also set to feature a private gym and day spa, alongside a heritage-restored meeting space.
The Old Clare Hotel will open July 2015 at 1 Kensington Street, Chippendale.