Balmain icon gets new lease of life as The Fenwick

Thursday 14 March 2019

The historic Fenwick’s Store – the iconic sandstone building which stands as the gateway to Balmain – is set to join the ranks of top waterfront dining, with noted Sydney restaurateur Bill Drakopolous taking the reins.

“The Fenwick” will join other restaurants in Drakopolous’ Sydney Restaruant Group, which includes Aqua Dining, Ormeggio at The Spit, LuMi Bar and Dining, Ripples Milson Point, Ripples Chowder Bay, The Nielsen at Valcluse, Sotto Sopra and Jardin St James.

Drakopoulos said the Group was thrilled to take on the lease over such a significant landmark on the Sydney harbour foreshore.

“Balmain has always been a location we sought a suitable site in, and we are excited to have the best location in Balmain to service locals and Sydneysiders alike,” he said.

Inner West Mayor Darcy Byrne said that he was looking forward to seeing the iconic building opened up to the public.

“The Fenwick is set to become a destination for the people of Sydney,” he said.

“With views overlooking the Harbour Bridge, the opening of The Fenwick will give people across the city a new reason to visit Balmain.

“With The Fenwick will doubling as an art gallery, it will create even more of a drawcard.”

The Fenwick Balmain Pty Ltd (part of Sydney Restaurant Group) successfully applied to Council for a five year café/ gallery lease to operate the 1880s building, located at 2-8 Weston Street, next to the East Balmain Ferry Wharf.

Following extensive community consultation to determine its future use, in September 2017, Council refurbished the building to allow it to be used as a café with gallery space. Works included:

  • Internal works to the Fenwick Building including a new timber floor on the ground floor, new points of entry, new internal stairs and lighting upgrades;
  • Construction of a new kitchen space;
  • Construction of new public amenities including male, female and a fully accessible WC;
  • New balcony to the southern façade of the building and a new awning on the western façade to provide undercover access to the lift;
  • Improved access to the site through the construction of a new lift and accessible pathway within Illoura Reserve;
  • Reconfiguration of the existing Illoura Reserve carpark to include accessible parking and car share spaces and formalisation of the existing parking arrangements;
  • Associate landscaping works including tree planting.

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Page last updated: 15 Mar 2019