Subtly referencing the regal pink tones of the fictional Grand Budapest Hotel, Sydney’s Applejack Hospitality are branching out into lobby bars with their fifth venue, set to open 25 November.
Located at the Hyde Park end of Oxford Street, Della Hyde will reportedly be a “playful interpretation of the luxe lobby bars of the grand hotels of the past”. So expect an opulent interior, charming service, and a focus on high quality cocktails and bar snacks.
With the past shabbiness of that end of the Oxford St strip slowly retreating – there are a few venues reportedly slated to open in the next little while – Watts says the venue’s inspiration comes from the legend that the Della Hyde site was once a grand hotel situated on Hyde Park and named after the famous American actress Della Pringle.
“We’ve taken design inspiration and a bit of artistic license from that,” he says. “We reckon it would have had a touch of opulence based on the Hawa Mahal – or Pink Palace – in Jaipur, India and that maybe it was a member of the revered Society of Crossed Keys. That’s our story and we’re sticking to it.”
All references to Wes Anderson’s Grand Budapest Hotel aside, the bar is expansive – with space for up to 150 patrons – and will feature brick columns with ornate arched beams, Chesterfield banquettes, and period feature lighting and mirrors, along with timber and tile floors. The colour scheme reflects both the actual and fictional venues Watts mentioned with tones of pink and grey with brass finishes the chosen colour palette.
Della Hyde will be under the watchful eye of General Manager Joe Worthington (formerly of SoCal Neutral Bay) and Applejack Group Bars Manager Lachy Sturrock (pictured, at The Butler). The duo have created a drinks list featuring classic and sophisticated cocktails with plenty of twists, including cold-drip espresso aperitif-styled cocktails served over ice.
The menu, created by respected group executive chef James Privett, has European and North African influences with a mix of share plates and larger serves. Dishes include pea and pancetta croquettes with harissa mayonnaise; spiced lamb, olive, onion, spinach and labna pizza; and paprika chicken skewers with parsley and barley salad.