Phase three of the Imperial's $6 million redevelopment is turning things UP with a rooftop space that combines Italian food and cocktail culture with the vibrancy of LGBTQ culture.
Following the launch of 'drag & dine' spot Priscillas and late-night hangout The Basement, Imperial UP features serious Studio 54 feels with artisanal eats, drinks and Andy Warhol vibes.
After being closed for nearly three decades, Imperial's top floor has been spruced up with a 200-person courtyard, a plethora of pop art and gold mirror covered pizza ovens. "Imagine a little Italian trattoria that loves disco and has a very cool lounge room," says co-owner Fraser Short.
Menu-wise, expect Italian food with a touch of the Imperial's flamboyant flair. The lineup of stuzzichino, pasta and pizza features fried school prawns with bright saffron aioli, spaghetti ragu, pepperoni pizza and wagyu steak. Like downstairs sibling Priscillas, Imperial UP also has a strong list of vegan, gluten free and dairy free dishes. And — importantly — an extensive cocktail menu, which stretches from the classics through to colourful jugs of inventive drinks.
The new space is fit for many occasions, the external rooftop and inside Carlotta's Lounge primed for after-work drinks, and Rosa Room and Carpriccio's Corner ready for intimate gatherings.
UP's opening has also welcomed the beginning of Explore Yourself Sundays — a weekly venue-wide gathering that will give everyone at Imperial a chance to embrace queer culture, starting July 15.
Keep an eye out for the launch of a diva-dazzled Drag Party Lunch in September, and the highly anticipated Same-Sex Wedding Chapel coming sometime in early 2019.
Imperial UP is open from Friday, July 6, at 35 Erskineville Road, Erskineville.