Beachside beauty refreshed and ready for business

January 11, 2021
By Ioni Doherty

Just a short stroll from the Freshwater shoreline, beachside institution, the Harbord Hotel, has reopened with an expansive main bar, sun-soaked terrace, and new restaurant and cocktail bar, Balsa. 

One of Sydney’s greatest and most enduring pubs, Harbord Hotel has stood proudly as a community landmark for nearly a century. Under the custodianship of new owners Glenn Piper and Lachlan Cottee, Harbord Hotel’s exciting evolution has been designed with everyone in mind but locals at the heart, and great care has gone into understanding the area’s history to help shape the venue’s future.

The result is a true beachside haven: a local icon informed by the surf culture embedded in its history, a place where morning brunch stretches out to the afternoon, and daytime turns seamlessly into sundowner sessions.

Glenn Piper said: “We are so excited to swing open the doors to this special venue, especially after what has been a tough few weeks for the Northern Beaches. Harbord Hotel has always been so much more than a pub, it is an extension of the area and a second home to many, so it is truly incredible to see our community enjoying it again”. 

He continues: “Everyone knows that undeniable Freshwater current – it’s magic, and something that has guided us throughout this process. Life doesn’t need to be complicated when you’ve got the fundamentals down to a fine art. Good mates, great food, cold beer, cracking tunes, and of course, the ocean”. 

Designed in collaboration with Sydney based design studio, Alexander & Co, Harbord Hotel takes its cues from Freshwater’s history and unique claim as the birthplace of surfboard riding in Australia.

Greeted by a mural by local Northern Beaches artist Ash Holmes, guests will be able to stroll up straight from the sea, throw their boards on the surfboard rack out front, and head onto the sun-soaked terrace to refresh and relax. 

The exterior of the building has a new sun-bleached identity and portions of the venue that were covered up for decades have been exposed, revealing a heritage staircase and arches, and memories of bygone coastal flair. The expanded terrace now features an outdoor bar, with more room for guests to sit outside and enjoy the nor’ easter.

The expansive indoor sports bar area is a true locals’ hangout with walls adorned with surfing nostalgia and vintage images.

Head Chef and Freshwater local Adam Rust (ex-12 Micron) celebrates the influence of American surf culture on Australia and Freshwater’s influence on the world by delivering classic pub fare with a coastal twist.

Harbord Hotel is providing free entertainment this summer when every set will be a reset, with a strong focus on live music, championing local Northern Beaches talent including Shag Rock, Aodhan and Great Gable with more to come.

For the early risers, there is a coffee cart and breakfast menu starting from 7.00am each day when locals can grab wholesome breakfast bites. Cocktail bar Balsa will officially open in the coming weeks.

 Harbord Hotel is now open 7.00am until midnight every day and is located at 29 Moore Rd, Freshwater NSW 2096

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