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The Empire Hotel in Annandale Is Receiving a Full-Venue Makeover — and Welcoming in Maybe Frank

Big news for Annandale — The Empire will reopen as The Federal next month with Fabbrica pasta and wine, Maybe Sammy cocktails and pizza, a sports bar and boutique accommodation.
By Ben Hansen
September 18, 2023
By Ben Hansen
September 18, 2023

Update Thursday, November 9: Fabbrica Pasta Bar will no longer be opening in The Empire Hotel when it's revamped as The Federal. Find out more here.

Several of the most-exciting names in Sydney's hospitality scene are coming together to reinvigorate a historic Annandale hotel. PUBLIC and the Maybe Group are teaming up with the equally beloved Love Tilly Group to transform Parramatta Road stalwart The Empire Hotel, refreshing the pub's current offerings, and bringing both a Maybe Frank pizzeria and Fabbrica Pasta Bar to the venue.

Before The Empire opened all the way back in 1902, it was originally slated to be called Federal Hotel. As part of the refresh, PUBLIC is entwining some history into the makeover and renaming it The Federal. You can expect the new pub to reopen in October, complete with a sports bar and the addition of the two much-hyped new culinary additions.

Boutique accommodation will follow early in 2024, with the 21-room hotel set to offer sleek and affordable stays for Sydneysider staycations, family and friends visiting Annandale or Stanmore residents, and tourists looking to soak in a dose of the Inner West.

Sitting on the corner of Parramatta Road and Johnston Street, The Empire currently offers your standard pub affair, with affordable beers, a family-friendly diner and a no-frills sports bar. PUBLIC Executive Chairman Jon Adgemis hopes that the transformation will see the hotel regain its place as the neighbourhood's bustling social hub.

"When we're creating an enhanced vision for a property, we want to expand on what already exists within the suburb, and offer locals even more experiences from both a hospitality and accommodation perspective," said Adgemis.

The 80-seat Fabbrica Pasta Bar Annandale will arrive at the former Empire Hotel with the classic stylings of the Love Tilly Group. Expect the city-best pasta that the group has perfected across openings like Ragazzi, Palazzo Salato and Fabbrica Balmain — plus, the passion for the interesting, minimal-intervention wines you've come to expect at bars like Love, Tilly Devine and La Salut.

Dexter Kim

"Off the back of the success of Fabbrica Pasta Bar Balmain, we're really excited about bringing our spaghetti cacio e pepe and cotoletta alla Milanese to another of our favourite neighbourhoods: Annadale," said Love Tilly Group's Founder and Director Matt Swieboda.

As if one industry-leading eatery wasn't enough, the pub will also boast a new outpost for the award-winning Maybe Group's pizzeria Maybe Frank. Antipasti, woodfired pizza and a cocktail menu from Maybe Sammy's Paolo Maffietti will all be available in the 66-seat indoor dining room and covered terrace.

"Maybe Frank is all about relaxed dining and the space we're taking over in The Federal suits that perfectly," said PUBLIC Executive Director of Business Development Vince Lombardo.

"There is a heap of natural light streaming into the terrace, plus we'll be showing silent classic Italian movies from the 50s and 60s in the dining room so both spaces will have a lot of energy and atmosphere."

People eating dinner in a moody dining room at Fabbrica Pasta Bar Balmain

Fabbrica Pasta Bar Balmain, Dexter Kim

The Empire Hotel will reopen as The Federal at 103 Parramatta Road, Annadale, in October 2023. Inside, you'll find new outposts for both Fabbrica and Maybe Frank — keep an eye on the venue's website for further details.

Published on September 18, 2023 by Ben Hansen
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