The Orient Hotel's lush cocktail terrace.
September 07, 2018
Another stalwart pub in The Rocks has been given a new lease on life. The Orient Hotel has recently reopened after a three-month renovation, which has taken the venue back to its heritage roots. The public bar and sandstone courtyard have both been restored and there's a renewed focus on live music, with bands on seven days a week.
The corner pub's reopening will be a welcome addition to The Rocks' nightlife, with the all-day offering available from morning until late daily and a 3.30am weekend licence allowing for some legit late-night gigs. The heritage building was built in 1844 and boasts a multifaceted history as a Chinese laundry, a butchery and, most notably, a shipping company called Orient Line who docked its boats in Sydney Cove, just in front of the hotel. It's now owned by Ryans Hotels, the group that also runs CBD venues the Paragon Hotel, The Ship Inn and Taylor's Rooftop.
Expanding on the hotel's refurbished offering is a new cocktail terrace Mrs Jones, which is named after Jane Jones, the Orient's 1897 licensee who was a well-known publican in the area. It officially launches this Thursday, May 17.
The space has its own concealed entrance on Kendall Lane and the terrace lounge overlooks The Orient's interior courtyard and the laneways below. Designer Kate Formosa has drawn on the hotel's maritime roots with a replica Orient Line boat model, blue-and-white woven chairs and timber floorboards, all while giving the terrace a greenhouse feel with a lush garden fit-out and sliding glass panel walls.
Ex-Merivale drinks-maker Tommy Donnison is heading up the bar and has curated a sizeable cocktail menu with heaps of classics, plus signatures including the Fizzy Jones (gin, green apple liqueur, Baileys and lime juice soda) and the Purple Haze (vodka, blackcurrant and cacao liqueurs, vanilla syrup, blueberries and egg white).
For eats, chef Brad Copeland (ex-Est., MG Garage, Bistrode) has created a menu for both venues that aims to showcase Australian produce and focuses on share plates — ideal for nibbling on with cocktail in hand. Think slow-cooked lamb croquettes with truffle honey, panko-crumbed prawns with garlic mayo and peking duck spring rolls, along with your requisite charcuterie platters. For larger dishes, sous vide Queensland kangaroo rump and crispy pork belly accompany pub classic schnittys, parmas and burgers.
The Orient Hotel is now open, with Mrs Jones opening May 17 at 89 George Street, The Rocks. Both venues are open seven days a week from morning till late. Head to the respective websites for opening hours.
The Doss House
77/79 George Street
T (02) 9565 1009
The Orient Hotel
89 George Street
T (02) 9251 1255
El Camino Cantina
18 Argyle Street
T (02) 9259 5668
Endeavour Tap Rooms
39-43 Argyle Street
T (02) 9241 6517
12 Argyle Street
T (02) 9259 5656
140 George Street
T (02) 9245 2458
El Camino Cantina Manly
Manly Wharf Rooftop, West Esplanade
T (02) 9259 5600
Dulcie's Kings Cross
44B Darlinghurst Road
Harajuku Gyoza Beer Stadium
1/14 Darling Drive
T (02) 9211 4779
267 Cleveland Street
T (02) 8646 4930
Archie Brothers Cirque Electriq
55 Doody Street
T +61 1300 888 386
75A Burrows Road
T (02) 9519 0161
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