The one-time hospitality jewel of Sydney's north, better known in recent years for dishing up controversy rather than any sort of cuisine, Pasadena will be rebirthed in March by restaurateur and bar operator Paul Schulte.
Schulte, the former creative director across a range of venues, including Chophouse and Cargo Bar, confirmed he's partnered with Pasadena owner Paul Peterkin.
The duo is set to open a 160-seat seafood grill at the waterfront Church Point site in March. Schulte says an accompanying boutique hotel will follow mid-year. Pasadena has a long and colourful history on the northern beaches, but has remained closed for nearly a decade and mired in controversy, its potential development receiving more knock-backs than Harvey Weinstein.
"A bunch of DAs have been rejected," Schulte says, hopeful Pasadena's return to a hospitality model will be embraced. They'll have to win over local residents' associations, which held a protest over its reopening before Christmas with concerns over extra visitors and parking.
Last year the local council and the NSW Government were even looking to purchase the property and turn it into public space.
Schulte, who lives on the northern beaches, has drafted another local, former Hugo's and Quay chef Alex Tawning, to oversee the menu.
"Sitting down by the water, with seafood in the middle of the table. Sydney needs to hang onto places like these, we're losing too many of them," Schulte argues. "I've always loved the place and the name … without getting ahead of ourselves it's something we could take overseas," he adds.