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Sarah Sands Hotel Is the New 167-Year-Old Pub With a $3 Million Facelift

Expect revamped classic pub grub and a weekly meat-free meat tray raffle.
By Libby Curran
June 15, 2021
By Libby Curran
June 15, 2021

Quietly emerging out of the city's latest lockdown, Sarah Sands Hotel wasted no time in throwing open its doors on Saturday, June 12. The latest new watering hole on Sydney Road has been reimagined by the Australian Venue Co (The Smith, State of Grace, Fargo & Co) as part of a $3 million makeover. While the building has been reunited with its original name from 1854, its interiors have been pulled into a whole new era.

Local architects Studio Y have created a contemporary space infused with nostalgic touches. The familiar corner site was once home to Brunswick's Bridie O'Reilly's, but now, timber panelling and exposed brick walls are played against brass accents and leafy greenery. Downstairs is home to a modern public bar, restaurant space and private dining room, or you can head one floor up to find a second bar and sunny atrium decorated with a bold mural by Loretta Lizzio.

The kitchen delivers a new-school riff on the classic local pub offering, complete with a strong spread of vegetarian options and native ingredients incorporated throughout the menu. After-work pints will be matched by snacks like pink pepper calamari with smoked paprika mayo and saltbush, and buttermilk fried chicken finished with native mountain pepper and tamarind yoghurt.

There's a trio of steaks, and a slew of pizzas featuring toppings like kipflers with rosemary and blue cheese. Meanwhile, a lineup of counter meals includes the likes of a beetroot and goat cheese salad, steak and ale pie with mushy peas, a cheeseburger, and classic chicken and eggplant parmas. In a nod to the good old pub days, you'll find weekly food specials, happy hours and trivia nights (kicking off from July 1), as well as a revamped meat tray raffle gifting one lucky winner a fresh fruit and veg box every Friday. All ticket proceeds will be heading to support local not-for-profit QueerSpace, with the first edition drawn on June 18.

At the bar, a 10-strong tap list will be backed by a hefty range of tinnies and bottles sourced from near and far. And classic cocktails sit alongside a run of fruity spritzes and signature sips; from the Davidson Plum Sour made on Four Pillars Shiraz Gin, to a wattleseed-infused espresso martini.

The Sarah Sands Hotel is welcoming new locals and regulars with a series of tasty Welcome Weekend specials from June 25–June 27. Head in from 5–7pm to enjoy complimentary snacks with your first drink purchase, and book a table of four or more for dinner to receive a round of desserts on the house.

Find the Sarah Sands Hotel at 29 Sydney Road, Brunswick, from June 12. It'll open 12–11pm Sunday to Thursday, and from 12pm–late on Fridays and Saturdays.

Published on June 15, 2021 by Libby Curran


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