An Iconic Seaside Pub By Craig Shearer And Scott Pickett Opens Its Doors
Swinging its doors open to the public on Tuesday, 29 March, ‘The Conti’ – as it is affectionately known – will stay true to its long history as a casual and vibrant go-to for locals and holidaymakers with two distinct and approachable venues, the Public Bar and Beer Garden, set to become staple favourites within The Continental Sorrento precinct.
Standing proudly atop the hill of Ocean Beach Road, the historic 150 year-old limestone facade houses the two casual offerings, with a third offering of Promenade street dining to open soon.
Revealing itself as you walk-in to the left of the building, the Public Bar is where rustic coastal charm meets contemporary sophistication, serving up pub-style fare and quenching the thirst of casual punters coming off the beach and shopping strip. Or turn right into the light-filled Beer Garden, reminiscent of a glamorous conservatory space with high glass ceilings, it has an abundance of lush planted and trailing greenery, and a line up of picnic-style bench seating ready to serve crowd-pleasing Longrain classics and stylish Conti spritzers.
In the entry corridor that delineates the two venues hangs iconic 80’s social beach scenes captured on the Mornington Peninsula by prolific documentary photographer Rennie Ellis. Alongside the shots from Ellis sit heritage photographs collected from the State Library of Victoria, all playing on the historic sense of place of the legendary beach-side pub.
Seasoned publican Craig Shearer has taken the lead in reviving the Peninsula eating-and-drinking hot-spot to its former glory: “We wanted to give guests a taste of Sorrento’s lifestyle on Victoria’s idyllic Peninsula coastline, and feel we’ve delivered an easy-going, sea-side pub promising something for everyone. It’s the kind of place that will keep you coming back from Monday to Sunday,” he says.
Both venues will share the same dedicated menu served from a charismatic open kitchen in the entry corridor, featuring Chef Restaurateur Scott Pickett’s take on classic pub fare with a contemporary twist. Expect staples such as wood-fired pizzas, gourmet burgers and parmas, as well as Josper grilled meats cooked on the bone or by the fillet. Ready to order will also be a lineup of Scott’s Longrain signature favourites, to take taste buds on a Thai-inspired journey far from the iconic restaurant’s CBD home.
On the lighter side, smaller plates with a sharing focus and a fresh mix of seasonal salads will be the perfect companion for a sun-sipping spritz or cold schooner. Referring to its coastal location there are half crayfish, the ‘best of Australia’s’ seafood served up on a platter, or for something more swish, Beluga Siberian caviar by the spoonful or tin with potato blinis and classic condiments. For a family-friendly affair, there is a children’s menu, bound to satisfy even the fussiest little ones.
Prices range from:
- $48-$110 for steaks from the Josper Grill;
- $16 for Thai small plates and $35 for larger curries;
- $28-$33 for pub classics;
- $14 kid’s meals;
- $110 for the sea food platter for two and $250 for a tin of Beluga caviar.
With an impressive line-up of craft beer on tap and more by the bottle, guests can casually move between venues with a premium cocktail or spritz in hand from the extensive menu of signature and classic drinks on offer. A considered choice of wine by Head Sommelier, Andrew Murch has been selected to suit any budget and celebrates Victorian and Peninsula varietals with a few European bottles also making a cameo on the wine list.
“Much like The Conti Bar itself, this selection of wine is bright, unpretentious, and approachable. Every bottle is considered best-in-class and suited to every occasion,” says Murch.
Across the precinct, Speakeasy Group, renowned for its award-winning venues (Eau De Vie and Nick & Nora’s), have worked with The Continental’s team to design and deliver an impressive and evolving list of seasonal signature and classic cocktails served with flair and theatre, as well as a considered mix of local and international spirits, wines, beers and non-alcoholic beverages.
The Conti Public Bar and Beer Garden, will be open seven days a week from 11am til late.
1-21 Ocean Beach Road, Sorrento, VIC.
For further info and bookings, please click here.