Hospitality heavyweights to reclaim iconic Balmain pub, The Dry Dock

July 5, 2023
By Rachel White

A formerly well-loved Balmain pub is set to be given a second lease of life as Peninsular Hospitality makes plans to restore the venue to its former glory after standing empty for almost two years.

A long-standing fixture amongst Balmain’s well-known pub district, The Dry Dock was first established in 1857, originally the drinking hole of choice for Mort Bay’s dock workers.

The heritage-listed pub came to the attention of veteran hospitality professional James Ingram through his friend and Balmain resident of 30 years, Mike Everett.

“When Mike told me about The Dry Dock and I first looked at it, I was impressed with the layout and size of the pub, and I could immediately see the potential to combine a great dining concept with a classic pub experience and this sparked the momentum which founded Peninsula Hospitality.

“It was a shared vision of wanting to create an elevated pub and dining experience that we believe people are looking for today and will add perfectly to the mix of restaurants and bars in the area,” said Ingram.

From teenage jobs as a kitchen hand to executive positions at Australia’s leading hospitality companies, including Merivale, Solotel and Hawke’s Brewing Company, Ingram has done just about every job in hospitality over the past three decades, including operating his own consultancy business, Ingram Advisory.

Establishing their joint venture in 2021, Ingram and Everett founded Peninsular with the sole vision of restoring the historic pub and ensuring its legacy continues for future generations.

Hatted chef Ben Sitton has been appointed as Head Chef, coming to the role with a plethora of experience at Sydney’s premier venues, including Co-Head Chef at Felix, Head Chef of Uccello under Merivale and Senior Sous Chef at Rockpool Bar & Grill.

Peninsular envisages a menu of modern European classics influenced by French provenance and driven by quality produce and classic techniques. A Josper Charcoal Grill and Oven will turn out a style of cuisine Sitton is passionate about to be paired with an expansive wine list, premium spirit offering, classic cocktail list and 12 beers on tap.

The Dry Dock is due to open in late 2023.

Image: Ben Sitton, James Ingram & Mike Everett outside Balmain local The Dry Dock.

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