Mosman Rowers reopened on Friday 15 March. One of Sydney’s oldest sports clubs and harbour-side destinations, the venue has been reinvigorated thanks to the support of loyal members and the local community.
The institution first opened in 1911 and has since been a community hub for water-based activities such as kayaking. A revived food offering is just part of the venue’s transformation, with all three levels of the venue redesigned.
Bird & Bear Group (The Sandy Bear, Clontarf; The Flying Bear & Foys, Kirribilli) was appointed to reinvigorate the club’s offering in late 2018. On the bottom level is Archie Bear, a pit stop for coffees and breakfast, as well as long lunches, evening drinks and dinner.
Archie Bear offers light and more substantial dishes across breakfast, lunch and dinner. Bird & Bear founders, alongside group executive chef Anthony O’Shea, have created a breakfast menu at Archie Bear that includes house-made maple-baked granola with natural yoghurt, stewed rhubarb and mint; a green breakfast bowl with a quinoa patty, avocado, pea puree, kale, poached eggs and lemon; bacon and egg roll with kewpie mayo and hot barbecue sauce in a milk bun; and fruit loaf with ricotta, honey and cinnamon.
The lunch and dinner menus feature shareable items such as Sydney rock oysters; baby squid with lemon and aioli; and antipasti with prosciutto, burrata, olives and flatbread. A selection of sandwiches and burgers are also on the menu, including Caprese sandwich with tomato, buffalo mozzarella and pesto; Reuben sandwich with Wagyu pastrami, raclette, sweet spicy pickle, slaw and smoky mustard mayo on rye; and a fish burger with battered barramundi, tartare, pickle, cheese, lettuce and fries.
Lighter bites include a salad of soba noodles with poached chicken and soy-lime dressing; and a fillet of grilled salmon with avocado, pea puree and snow pea tendrils. Staples such as beer battered fish and chips and a generous seafood platter with oysters, prawns, gravlax, grilled salmon, baby squid, battered fish and house-made tartare sauce will also make an appearance.
Etic design studio and Bird & Bear Group have designed Archie Bear to be light, bright and vibrant. Seating just over 100 people, Archie Bear is wrapped in floor-to-ceiling windows, providing 270-degree sparkling water views from both inside and the outdoor deck. Natural oak high tables and low banquette seating fill the area while dusty pink, red, gold and brass trim provide bursts of colours against the white walls and blue vista. The existing bar remains with an additional counter to facilitate food orders. Polished timber floors and new lighting give a sense of warmth, while a fireplace will take the edge off the cooler temperatures during winter.
Sitting above Archie Bear on the ground level is The Rowers Bar with its own food offering; a short selection of bar snacks and mains. Whipped fish dip and flatbread; rice paper rolls with cucumber, coriander, daikon and water chestnuts; wagyu sliders; and charcuterie and cheese plate will complement a glass of Veuve Clicquot Brut or one of the 11 beers on tap. More sizeable options include the zucchini pasta with lemon, chilli and basil, grilled barramundi with butter bean puree and bean salad and eye fillet with potato gratin and pea puree.
The Rowers Bar also seats 100, however, the interiors reflect a richer palate, embracing the heritage elements of the building. Nautical navy and warm woods frame the space, while the table-tops include a mix of terrazzo, oak and navy, all with a brass trim. The combined effects of navy leather banquette cushions, custom carpet, new marble bar-top and low lighting create a convivial atmosphere. Finally, the top level is the Members Gallery; a relaxed and private space for members’ events, engagements and meetings.
The drinks list available in both Archie Bear and The Rowers Bar includes Riot Wine Co Rosé on tap, cocktail pitchers
perfect for sharing, signature seasonal and classic cocktails, Australian and international wines plus a selection of
Australian beers on tap including Young Henrys and Reschs.
“To say we’re excited about once again being a base for water activities as well as a community meeting point for locals is an understatement,” says Kathrina Doran, Mosman Rowers president. “This 108-year-old club has had an eclectic life to date but we couldn’t be prouder of the new era we’re entering with the management guidance of Bird & Bear Group. We also wouldn’t be where we are this year without the generous support of our life-members and long-term members, so we can’t wait to unveil our new offering to them, as well as our newer members and visitors.”
Bird & Bear Partner Matthew Murray (most recently GM & Group Operations Manager Barangaroo House), says, “The new Mosman Rowers will reconnect locals, Sydney-siders as well as interstate and international visitors back with the historic venue.
“There’s not many places on the Sydney harbour where you can go for a morning paddle and then enjoy a beer in a building steeped in history with cracking water views, and Mosman Rowers is one of them. We’re really proud to have helped give the clubhouse a new lease on life and hope we can extend it for another 100+ years.”