News

Bulli brewery pub wins prestigious heritage restoration award

Brendan Dowd and Stephen House at Resin Brewing. Picture: Resin Brewing

BULLI business partners, Brendan Dowd and Stephen House are “beyond stoked” after they were acknowledged by the National Trust of Australia (NSW) for their restoration and re-purposing of the old Bulli Railway Guesthouse.

Long-time surfing mates, Brendan and Stephen are the brains behind Resin Brewing, a pub/brewery and eatery trading from the 1887 heritage building near Bulli Railway Station.

Brendan and Stephen this week were announced as the winners of the ‘adaptive re-use category’ in the annual National Trust Heritage Awards.

The duo have spent more than $2 million and over a year painstakingly restoring the 1887 Bulli landmark. The restored building opened for business in March of this year.

The old Bulli Railway Guest House lovingly restored and home to Resin Brewing. Picture: Resin Brewing

“We are beyond stoked to receive this award,” Brendan said.

“We also couldn’t have done it without our architect and heritage consultant Geoff Borst, their builder Mark Tarasenko of Eastbourne Builders. As well as our wonderful wives Natalie and Belinda for all the work they have done and their constant support.”

The pair also thanked Wollongong Council’s planning staff and their heritage officers for their support.

Brendan and Stephen also thanked the community for fighting to retain the building, which was earmarked for demolition by its owners, Woolworths supermarket. Woolworths planned to level the building to make way for a driveway into the nearby shopping centre complex.

“If it wasn’t for the activism of the community, the guesthouse would have been demolished and a unique part of our heritage lost forever,” Stephen said.

“The tireless work of the community has enabled the tradition of hospitality to continue, and once again the public are able to enjoy the charms of the Bulli Railway Guesthouse.”

The Bulli Railway Guesthouse was one of 11 short listed in the category of ‘re-adaptive use’. The category acknowledges projects that complement and utilise existing heritage fabric, re-purposed and new developments that are sympathetic to the traditional uses of a site and its structures, and protect the heritage integrity.

More on Resin Brewing and the old guest house:

Open for business! The beer is flowing at Bulli’s new craft brewery, bar and cafe

Bulli’s Railway Guest House to be restored and transformed 


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About Mick Roberts

A Sydney journalist, writer and historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of pubs, inns and associated industries in Australia for over 30 years. He is currently working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides writing a number of history books, Mick has owned and managed several community newspapers. He was one time editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), Sydney based, City News, and Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW. He currently calls the inner-Sydney suburb of Surry Hills home.

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