Circular Quay's dining scene is about to be completely shaken up with a with a brand new food and retail precinct. Here's what to expect.
Seagulls and McDonald's fries. The Paragon. Pokémon GO. Circular Quay holds a special place in many Sydneysiders' hearts, but perhaps not for its sophistication or quality dining. This is set to change in September, when the first stage of a flash $60 million food and retail development is revealed.
The new precinct, named Gateway Sydney, spans three blocks from Alfred Street to Loftus Street and Reiby Place. Woods Bagot, the firm charged with the new design, is positive that Gateway Sydney will help to rejuvenate and redefine the Quay. "It's deepening the quality and complexity of the community there," says Domenic Alvaro, the firm's principal architect. "The idea is that it will become more of a destination."
The heart of the new precinct will be a three-level glass-fronted and sandstone-wrapped dining space housing a number of new eateries - with Neil Perry's fifth Burger Project, a Chat Thai, Adriano Zumbo and Gelato Messina among them. Popina, a 200-seat Mediterranean-leaning restaurant and rooftop cocktail bar, will also open on the top floor - a collaboration between the owners of Salt Meats Cheese and Shuk café in North Bondi. The materials chosen for the site are a nod to the maritime history of the area and The Rocks.
Neil Perry says the redevelopment is a no-brainer. "Circular Quay is such an integral part of Sydney. Thousands of people pass through every day, whether it's on their way to work, on their way home or to simply take in the surrounds of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge," he says. "Gateway will give people a good reason to stop and enjoy, rather than just pass through."
The project has been in development now for more than two years, and Woods Bagot has looked to Sydney suburbs such as Potts Point and Surry Hills for inspiration. "What we're trying to do is bring that level of sophistication and character to the Quay," says Alvaro. "It's not a mall, we're trying to avoid that and keep a boutique quality."
Gateway's various eateries will begin opening in September and continue into October and November. Across the harbour, Tramsheds Harold Park, at the heritage-listed Rozelle Tramshed Depot, is also slated to open in September with new ventures from Bodega, Tokyo Bird, Eugenio Maiale, Belles Hot Chicken and more.
Gateway Sydney, Alfred St, Circular Quay, NSW, gatewaysydney.com.au