For 117 years, drinkers of the inner west have been gathering at the Salisbury Hotel for a brew and a chin-wag. This week, the pub reaches the end of a major, year-long renovation. Next time you visit, expect an extended, repositioned kitchen; wooden beams and cobblestone; and a quirky outdoor beer garden, with a Chinese elm tree and a 1926 bright red brewery truck. The menu's had an overhaul, too, under Singaporean-Malay chef Ridz Ma'rop (ex-Henson Park Hotel, The Trinity).
The motivation for the revamp was publican Trish Larkin's desire to increase the pub's appeal to everyone, families included. "The Salisbury is a meeting place for all, young and old," she says. "We wanted to create a pub environment where you'd be happy to take your mum, grandad or children — somewhere that has a consistently solid offering and where all are welcome."
To that end, the new menu is all about high-quality pub classics. The Brew Truck Angus burger comes with egg, beetroot, pineapple, bacon, cheese, tomato, lettuce and chips, while the Salisbury steak sandwich features roasted tomato, onion relish, lettuce, aioli and chips. There's also a beef and Guinness pie with colcannon, and maple-miso salmon with Asian slaw and ginger-shallot dressing. Drop by on Thursdays for Curry House, when 20 bucks buys you a curry and sides, plus a Young Henrys' longneck. Then, on Sundays, it's time for The Feast—a $100 cornucopia of meats, fish and sides that feeds four. Behind the bar, in addition to Young Henrys, you'll find beers by 4 Pines and Stone and Wood, as well as a bunch of Australian wines.
If you're travelling in a group, nip through to The Hall, where there's a 12-seater table beneath a high ceiling. Otherwise, continue through to the beer garden to find banquettes, or head back inside to drink and make merry among the pub's exposed brickwork, recycled timber, wooden beams and cobblestone. On Wednesdays, get involved in Drag Bingo and, on Sundays, kick back to live music.
Find The Salisbury at 118 Percival Road, Stanmore. Opening hours are Monday-Saturday, 10am-midnight, and Sunday, 10am-10pm. Visit the hotel's website for further details