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Applejack reveals new venue plans

Applejack Hospitality has announced details of a new bar and restaurant that it will open in North Sydney in late September.

The new venue, Rafi, draws on the years of experience of Applejack Hospitality’s owners Ben Carroll and Hamish Watts and will offer space for all occasions, from a spritz and oysters on the terrace to a chef’s choice banquet in the dining room, or an impressive private event.

Ben said: “Born and bred in the North, North Sydney was where I fell in love with Hospitality, so the area has special significance for me. With Rafi we want to put North Sydney back on the centre stage, with a world class restaurant in a setting to match.

“The honesty and passion of our people at Applejack is all about connection, and we want to make this venue a place where visitors, corporates and the local community can come together and feel that connection in a warm and welcoming space.”

The beverage offering is masterminded by Applejack Group Bars Manager Lachy Sturrock and Group Sommelier Amandine Rouviere, and will feature creative cocktails alongside a handpicked selection of local beers on tap. In addition there will be a well-constructed wine list, featuring a strong representation of local wineries by the glass, all showcased in a large industrial style glass wine store.

The 300-seat restaurant and bar features a variety of areas, with the Applejack team working with design firm Luchetti Krelle to create a layered approach where no two spaces are the same.

Key areas comprise of a large custom made, geometric island bar that connects the main dining room, a semi-al fresco glass house named The Arbor, wrap around outdoor tree lined terrace filled with foliage, a private dining room, and a Chef’s Kitchen that will play host to exclusive, bespoke experiences. 

“We set out to create a space that was youthful and playful. Drawing inspiration from exuberant colours and patterns, our design reflects Applejack’s energy and warmth. The hope is that you have fun,” Stuart Krelle said.

After the challenges the world has faced over the last two years, Applejack said in a statement that it hopes Rafi “inspires a bright future where dining out is approached with a child-like awe and wonder, encouraging everyone involved from staff to suppliers to customers to do things differently, and have varied perspectives”.

Reservations for RAFI are now open for a limited number of guests, including for Melbourne Cup lunch or Christmas parties.

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