Project Team

Design: Paul Schulte
AV: DJW Projects

Music: Nightlife
Builder: The Building Guild


Keystone has opened a new rooftop late night restaurant / bar called The Rook.

Transforming the top floor of 56 – 58 York Street into a lo-fi, vibey dining space is the creation of a unique team of local and international hospitality pros.This strip of pavement is fast becoming the beating heart of the Sydney CBD.

Nestled high above the buildings, as the bar’s namesake bird does, The Rook can only be reached by elevator access from The QVB end of York Street. The space has been designed by Schulte with the assistance of GM Danae Cappelletto, taking inspiration from the venues and energy of Berlin.

Upon exiting the lift, guests are greeted by a warm industrial space with recycled wooden clad walls, bench seating, a stone brick bar and rich urban views across Sydney’s city scape of historic buildings. A gabled clear rooftop shelters guests from the elements and lets the sunset cast incredible light into the dining room. Vintage street inspired art murals by Jasy &Atome of oneleginc are a stunning addition to the 30 foot floor to ceiling walls.

“The design is raw, paired back with a selection of old and new furniture that have been thrown together to create the ultimate rooftop hangout,” commented Paul Schulte, Group Director, Keystone.

”Being on the rooftop is the most unique feature, being perched high up above the city. We are planning to create a retractable roof soon, which will add another element of surprise and delight.”

Luckily there were no major challenges. The only issue Paul had was that being on the rooftop, the only access was via a lift that was also used by the rest of the building during the day.

The materials that have been used fit in with the theme of elegance, grit and an unexpected environment, so lots of cool new and second hand materials were chosen to achieve this. Colours and textures fit in with the concept, but a lot was also decided upon due to the amount of light and all-day sun filling the room that they had to work with.

“The shed-like main dining room with the high roof and light flooding in through the windows really captures the feeling of the whole venue,” said Paul. ” There isn’t much lighting as a lot of natural light is achieved from it being a rooftop space. The really special features include the art wall, the concrete tiled bar which still looks unfinished and the flooding of natural light from the rooftop windows.

” My philosophy is to always create a design solution that is specifically for the community that we’re building in. To make it feel welcoming and a home away from home.”