Project Team

Design: PMDL
Finishing touches: Complete Exposure
Builders: Bravo Design and Construction
AV: Everingham Audio


Venneer walls: Feather veneers
Feature Lighting:
Mance Design
Design intent by pmdl (Supplied by client)
Floor Tiles:
Earp Brothers
Whitecliffe Imports, designed by pmdl
Timber Floor:
Recycled iron bark
Wonderlite pressed metal ceilings

Mr B’s is a site rich in history. It has housed a butcher, a confectioner and Sydney’s best Chinese restaurant (which was also the first to serve Yum Cha) In a previous incarnation, this venue was a popular gathering spot for the local Chinese community.

Recently, Mr B’s has undergone a major renovation, with three levels, three bars, outdoor seating with smoking areaand dining. The venue is a versatile platform that can be booked for various events from fashion shows to live performances and company parties.

For designers PMDL, the project offered a fresh perspective on the concept of ‘adaptive reuse’ and questions the essence of contemporary bar design through the layered application of remnant building elements and placement of historical references as tributes to the variety of past building use.

Historical research showed that the building was originally set up as a provisional and electrical store for Macilraths, later as a Woolworths grocery store and then onto becoming the Mandarin Club for many decades. These past uses influenced the design which is then presented to the streetscape through large glazed openings. The result is in clear contrast to a more traditional approach of bar spaces as being introspective. A return of the space to a double height volume and full height glazing offers renewed interest at street level and re-establishes the buildings’ command of the street corner. The full offer and experience is therefore offered to the outside.

The existing steel structure and brick veneer, were stripped back to become back ground fabric for the application of more decorative elements such as the pressed metal ceilings and marquetry panelling of which were an inherent part of the original building. Chinese day beds on the mezzanine level offer a gestural reference to the past occupation of the space by the Mandarin Club. Elements such as marquetry panelling on the celling and walls and in the day beds were inlfuenced by a small fragment of linoleum with a similar pattern found within the space.

Everingham Audio designed and installed the audio throughout the venue. In the main bar are two double columns of SLS (Superior Line Source) 6593 speakers, and two SLS 215 dual 15″ sub woofers 1200 w 4 ohm. According to managing director Luke Everingham, the SLS are the world leaders in ribbon speaker technology aimed squarely at the serious professional touring and install market.

“The 6593 and the 215 are bi-amped and powered by two of the magnificent QSC RMX5050 power amps, old school amps with headroom to burn and all the business to make a system sound like it should, 1800 watts per channel into a 4 ohm speaker load,” said Luke. “These amps take two men to lift them, but who cares they aren’t going on tour, they’re going to live in a rack forever in a permanent installation. They are such a no compromise audio device that I’m surprised they still exist. Why haven’t the bean counters got hold of this product and made it cheaper or discontinued it? Anyway, hats off to QSC for daring to continue a product bearing the quality of yesteryear in a McDonalds world.”

The dining room also features two SLS 6593 speakers and a QSC RMX5050. The mezzanine level has two double columns of SLS 6593, and a QSC RMX5050.

The Tao Bar in the basement utilises four SLS 118XEL single 18″ sub woofer 1200 watt 4 ohm, four SLS 215 dual 15″ sub woofer 1200 w 4 ohm, four SLS 8695 1500w 2 way speaker ie; 8 x 6″speakers and 9 x 5″ribbons in a column, bi-amped.

This system is run stereo active 4 way and powered by four QSC RMX5050 and two QSC RMX 2450 on the ribbons.

The seven toilets, smoking area, exterior and gaming room utilise sixteen P Audio 8″ 2way in wall speakers over four zones powered by a QSC CX404 4 x 200 w/ch.

There are three locations in the venue where a DJ and bands can patch into the system.

The venue is cabled for twelve plasma screens, and is presently using eight. Any of the free to air, three Fox or three Nightlife channels are available at each plasma.

PMDL used simple materials and detailing and enhanced what existing fabric there was left of the building, maintaining  open space where possible. For example there are exposed A/C ducts in a galvanised finishes in some areas and also polished concrete on lift walls. PMDL aimed to maintain a rawness with the space, layers which don’t date too easily and will age naturally adding a patina effect over time. Rich leathers and vinyl upholstery add the bar feel of traditional times but have a distinctive contemporary edge. Designed carpets on the mezzanine level and Basement level also add to the layering.

Visual elements ie murals, signage for the interior an exterior (including yes the reskinning of the giant vertical sign on the corner of the building, what a challenge that was!) as well as some vinyl patterning were all carried out by Complete Exposure Design Studio.

Complete Exposure Design Studio were specifically handed the task of designing heritage signage that had to be sympathetic to the history of the building as well as the new decor proposed. Images of yesteryear were melded with a contemporary design to ensure that the heritage aspect of the council requirements was not static or stale in application.

The TAO mural was on the otherhand a funky bright and loud image montage developed to compliment the decadence of the heavily influenced asian feel downstairs.

Complete were also handed the task of sourcing additional complimenting furnishings for the venue like additional outdoor indoor and seating as well as restaurant tables.

SLS LS6593v2 Loudspeaker

Utilizing patented ribbon planar drivers this unique design concept provides different options for vertical dispersion allowingversatile system configuration for a variety of applications. It is one of the most flexible and cost effective tools based on modern advanced technology principles available today.

The LS6593v2 concept is based on a woofer line array mounted on a front panel with a coaxially positioned ribbon tweeter array. The woofer array consists of 6 x 5.25” drivers.

The tweeter array consists of 10 proprietary ribbon planar drivers. The LS6593v2 is a straight line array with extremely controlled vertical dispersion.

Next Entertainment Technology

The signal processing and matrixing is taken care of by the Allen and Heath iDR8 product. 2 x iDr8, 2 x iDRin and 2 x iDRout provide a twin 16×16 matrix. ie; 16 stereo input / sources can be broadcast to any of 16 stereo outputs or zones at any volume. The iDr8 also provides for compression, limiting, noise gating, EQ and active cross-over on every input and output.

“All this occurs at the highest possible digital sonic performance and international quality of professional appointment and construction,” added Luke. “The iDR8’s only limitation is the experience and imagination of the person programming it.

“In general Allen and Heath give you the distinct impression their products are designed and manufactured by professional and experienced sound engineers for sound engineers.”