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Balmain's 166-Year-Old Pub The Dry Dock Is Reopening This Week After a Massive Transformation

The historic corner pub was first opened in the 1850s — and it's being revitalised with a former Rockpool and Felix chef leading the kitchen.
By Ben Hansen
November 28, 2023
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By Ben Hansen
November 28, 2023
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Two years on from shutting its doors, Balmain's oldest licensed pub The Dry Dock is reopening under new owners following an ambitious full-venue transformation on Thursday, November 30.

The heritage-listed The Dry Dock was established all the way back in 1857 and has long been a community cornerstone. Since closing, it's been snatched up by Peninsula Hospitality's James Ingram and Mike Everett, and received a stunning makeover — splitting the space into three distinct and highly sleek offerings.

"It's been exciting reimagining the pub for future generations," says Ingram. "We have an enormous amount of respect for The Dry Dock's heritage, and we are proud to be a small part of that long legacy."

The 330-capacity venue includes a classic 90-person ground-floor pub, a 120-seat lounge bar, and a detached 100-seat dining room with its own oyster bar and charcoal grill. And, if you want to make a last-minute reservation for any end-of-year celebrations, you can also snatch up a booking in the 14-seat semi-private dining room.

Leading the charge in the kitchen is Head Chef Ben Sitton, who brings with him experience at some of Sydney's top venues, including Felix, Uccello and Rockpool Bar & Grill.

The dining room menu traverses raw seafood, shared plates, salads, pastas, grilled delights and desserts. You'll be able to cover the table in prawn cocktails, cod croquettes, duck liver parfait, feta-topped tomatoes, crab tagliatelle and roasted peach salad, or order individual mains from the standout selections like The Dry Dock cheeseburger, New Zealand snapper and steak frites.

There are also a series of set menus for groups to tackle if they're looking to go big — with the banquets ranging from $75–120 per person. At the top end, the DD Luxe degustation boasts over 15 different dishes, including kingfish crudo, rotisserie chicken, duck ragu orecchiette and an 800-gram Brooklyn Vallery rib eye on the bone.

If you're popping in for a beer or a glass of wine, there's a more refined bar menu to browse. Partner your casual drink with oysters, sherry vinegar-glazed peppers or a selection of charcuterie.

"Balmain has such a strong pub culture, so we're excited to add to the already great mix of venues in the area and contribute to the reinvigoration of the food and beverage offering in Balmain and the peninsula," continues Ingram.

The Dry Dock is located at 22 Cameron Street, Balmain. It will reopen to the public on Thursday, November 30. Head to the pub's website to view its full menu and make a booking.

Published on November 28, 2023 by Ben Hansen
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