Harbord Hotel's renovation brings in the crowds | Photos, pictures

NEW LOOK: The refurbished Harbord Hotel has reopened to big crowds. Picture: Dallas Kilponen
NEW LOOK: The refurbished Harbord Hotel has reopened to big crowds. Picture: Dallas Kilponen

HARBORD Hotel has reopened following a massive renovation that captures Freshwater's surf culture and young spirit and it's already attracting big crowds.

Step inside and you'll find an expansive main bar, sun-soaked terrace, and new restaurant and cocktail bar called Balsa.

For almost a century the venue's affectionately been known as the Harbord Hilton, or simply the Hilton, and new owners Glenn Piper and Lachlan Cottee say the hotel's evolution has been designed with everyone in mind, but locals at the heart.

Mr Piper said great care has gone into understanding the area's history to help shape the venue's future.

It was vital to include the area's surf culture and history, Mr Piper said and inclusions around the venue give a special nod to the 'Brookvale Six', also known as the 'Brookvale Mafia', who designed surfboards.

"Throughout the venue you'll see 1950s, 60s and 70s references for the Brookvale Six," he said.

Hungry? You'll find classic pub fare with a coastal twist, think prawn cocktails with North Queensland tiger prawns; steak and chips; buttermilk fried chicken; burgers; and green bowl with broccolini, avocado, kale, quinoa and green goddess dressing.

Step outside to the beer garden to enjoy your ice-cold beverage and if you're there in the morning this is where breakfast is served from 7am.

The hotel's soon-to-open Balsa restaurant, named after the locally-made balsawood surfboards of the 1950s, will have a Californian-influenced food including: share plates and taste-bud tempting lobster roll, crab pasta and fresh oysters.

The extensive renovations begun in June 2020 and during this time a team of tradesman have revealed a heritage staircase and arches, and memories of bygone coastal flair.

"It's a huge privilege and a huge responsibility as well so we've put an enormous amount of focus in to get it right," Mr Piper said.

"I'm really proud of what we've done we've put a lot of time and effort into it and the locals like it."

Future renovations at the hotel will include a cafe and accommodation.

  • The Harbord Hilton is located at 29 Moore Road, Freshwater

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