The new-look Harbord Diggers opened last Saturday and it is being called the Barangaroo of the northern beaches.

More than 700 guests & VIP’s were invited to a special evening last Thursday, with peninsula celebrities including INXS guitarist Kirk Pengilly, radio host Wendy Harmer and former premier Mike Baird.

They were treated to a sample of foods from a swag of swanky restaurants, including a new eatery from Freshwater’s Pilu.

The restaurants all have small bars, where patrons can choose to sit and wait for a table.

In the centre of a large communal entertaining and dining space is the main bar, with views out to the terrace, Curl Curl and the ocean.

There is also a cafe and an indoor children’s play area.

State MP for Manly James Griffin said the $200 million renovation — which involves lots of sandstone, timber and giant, wicker lampshades — was classy and chic and the feel reminded him of Barangaroo.

“The look is sympathetic with the environment but it’s also cool,” he said.

“It’s set a new bar for the northern beaches.”

He said the change from what was there before was extraordinary and it was a huge win for the area, as well as providing 200 jobs.

Mr Griffin said the Diggers, along with Justin Hemmes, who had heavily invested in the area with the renovation of The Newport and The Collaroy and the imminent opening of Queen Chow at Manly Wharf, were helping to shed the peninsula’s “daggy” reputation.

Pengilly, a guitarist with INXS and a Queenscliff resident, agreed the Diggers could become his new local, saying it was “fantastic”.

The doors to the “new” venue opened at 7.30am on Saturday for breakfast and coffee.

The three main restaurants, including a more affordable version of Freshwater’s Pilu, serving Italian cuisine; Asian-fusion WaterDragon and Teddy Larkin’s Express, offering steak and seafood, will be open for lunch and dinner.

The opening of stage one of the build also sees the construction of 79 units and a childcare centre, which will open in the next few weeks.

Stage two will see another 17 units, a state-of-the-art gym, a swimming pool and an outdoor children’s play area. The second stage should be finished next year.

Source: The Daily Telegraph 

Photos: Adam Yip / Manly Daily