Swillhouse, the group behind some of Sydney’s most beloved venues including Hubert Restaurant, Frankie’s Pizza, Shady Pines and Alberto’s Lounge, have taken over a heritage-listed space in The Rocks. In the former Phillip’s Foote restaurant, Swillhouse will open Le Foote, a European-inspired wine bar. The group plans to renovate the space – but pending heritage approvals, they will keep the space as is and launch a temporary bar for the summer.
Owner and CEO Anton Forte said in a statement that the building is a “maze of different spaces, cobblestone lanes, outdoor dining areas and classic pub vibes. It’s gnarled and beautiful, rough and sophisticated.
The group plans to “change a lot,” says Forte. “We will keep the lively charm and relaxed atmosphere of the current space, and update the offering with something contemporary, delicious and cool.”
To make sure the space doesn’t sit dormant while Swillhouse waits for various advisory requests and heritage submissions to be processed, it will open a pop-up bar. Expect alfresco dining, live music, draft beers, and a menu of cheeses, cold cuts, pickles and olives by Alberto’s Lounge Executive Chef Dan Johnston.
As for wine, there will be a selection of “weird and wonderful” summer drops from Europe and Australia, according to Swillhouse head sommelier Gerald Ryan.
The historic space is right in front of the MCA. Since its construction in 1838, the building has served as a residence, oyster saloon, wine bar and customs broker. In 1975, Phillip’s Foote Bar and Restaurant opened and has occupied the space ever since.
The pop-up bar Le Foote will open in November, until February.