Ditching the backpackers hostel upstairs for a sleek new bar, the first floor has been transformed into a stunning Master Bar with a very British pub feel. Complete with leather couches, tartan carpet (yes, tartan) and a veranda overlooking busy Whickam Street (great for people watching on a Saturday night I'm thinking), the space manages to be both cosy and sleek with exposed brickwork giving a nod to the original architecture. A breezy deck out the back overlooks the stage downstairs while down the hall new function rooms continue the British pub theme and offer either cocktail style or sit-down dinner function areas. The new bar is open to the public Wednesday to Sunday and also available for exclusive hire.
Downstairs, the main bar and beer garden retain the same feel as before, just revamped and refreshed for a more modern look. An eye-catching urban artwork has turned the back wall into a feature instead of just the side of an adjacent building, providing a spectacular backdrop for the live bands who appear weekly at the hotel.
The menu has also had a makeover with classic pub grub and wood-fired pizzas now alongside trendy, lighter options like quinoa salad. I tried out their pulled pork nachos and wood-fired pizza (not so light, I know) and while it was no culinary masterpiece it was pretty good for pub fare with pub prices to match and perfect for a Friday lunch or weekend dinner with a pitcher or cocktail.
The Elephant Hotel's new look is a winner and ensures the watering hole could become a Valley favourite in no time at all.