The Bourbon Design
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The Bourbon Design

A historic icon located in King’s Cross, Sydney’s The Bourbon is slated to open its doors again for the first time since its closing in 2010. Christopher Cheung, owner of the Coogee Bay Hotel, is reinventing The Bourbon with a new contemporary take on this beloved landmark. As its original owner intended, this new The Bourbon design will provide guests with an unforgettable environment for dining, drinking and entertainment.

The Bourbon was originally opened in 1967 by Bernie Houghton, a U.S. Air Force veteran. Originally named The Bourbon and Beefsteak Bar and Restaurant, the restaurant catered to American soldiers on leave from the Vietnam War. Houghton designed his restaurant around the needs of men on leave from the rigors of war, giving them a place to let loose with dancing and drinks. Over the years, The Bourbon hosted celebrities, visiting U.S. government agents, tourists and countless local residents.

With its French colonial architecture, The Bourbon brought a taste of the American South to Sydney. Its familiar style, most often associated with New Orleans, appealed to American soldiers on leave far from home. The original interior contained memorabilia accumulated over decades, from war relics such as helmets and flags to Americana such as a jukebox and a Native American headdress.

After Houghton’s death in 2005, new owners renovated The Bourbon. All of the memorabilia was removed and The Bourbon re-opened as a bland, modern venue of chrome and mirrors. In 2010, after a less lively few years, The Bourbon closed following a roof collapse.

The Bourbon has a deeply rooted, rich history in King’s Cross. With the revival of The Bourbon, Cheung hopes to capture the historic site’s original success and lively character within an innovative, updated design. A complete reinvention of The Bourbon will transform this historical building into Sydney’s newest entertainment hot spot. A dynamic blend of traditional and modern elements will breathe new life into The Bourbon, bringing vibrant new energy to King’s Cross.

The Bourbon’s distinctive structure will remain vital to the venue’s personality. The classic French colonial facade will act as a foundation for the new design, retaining the style and beauty for which The Bourbon has always been known. New York inspired interiors will complement the classic architecture to create an elegant, sophisticated atmosphere. This fresh take on The Bourbon design promises to provide guests with an approachable, luxurious and authentic dining experience.

Decades of memories were built within The Bourbon before its closing. For too long, King’s Cross has missed the lively presence of The Bourbon. With its redesign, The Bourbon will entice guests from around the world with a new, timeless design of inviting luxury. Sydney eagerly anticipates the rebirth of this vital piece of Sydney’s history. When the new design is unveiled, an exciting new chapter will begin in King’s Cross. Memories of days gone by will remain, while cherished new memories are built within the revitalized and reinvented structure of The Bourbon.


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