The Annandale Hotel to Reopen with Brand New Fit-Out and Focus on Food
But will it work?
Sydney's favourite dingy venue The Annandale is being revived by new owners, with a focus on food and hopefully no apparent intention to alleviate any of the venue's beloved stickiness. Under new ownership with Oscars Hotels (Camperdown Hotel, Hotel Sweeneys and the ever-adominable Bar Century), the Annandale will continue its live music tradition, telling The Music it will "continue to pay homage" to its band-ridden roots.
Cynical fist-shakers, the stage ain't going anywhere — the Annandale's new owners are keeping that hallowed ground intact for more legends and up-and-comers on the calendar ahead. "[The] majority of acts in August will be local Sydney talent, varying from hip hop to old timey and Americano," an Oscars Hotels spokesperson told Fairfax, confirming live music would be scheduled every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The venue capacity will also be slightly reduced from 400 to 350.
Architect Elaine Richardson (of Bat and Ball, Trinity and Henson Park hotel revivals) has been focused on making the pub's food and beverage element that little bit less sticky pub-like, with a courtyard beer garden, coffee bar and all-day bistro joining the Annandale's usual bar bits. The fundraising efforts of the venue's Buy a Brick and Save the Annandale campaigns will be commemorated with mounted plaques, so punters remember their roots and keep coming back for local pride reppin'.
But you heard a little something something about food? Executive chef John Rankin (ex-Waitan) has crafted a brand new Annandale menu to take the pub grub next level. Rankin's breakfast menu includes hearty daystarters and drinkable hair-of-the-dog options, while lunch and dinner sound pretty fried-friendly — southern fried chicken burgers, grilled cheese sangers, nachos — alongside a somewhat random roast duck Yorkshire pudding. Signature cocktails will attempt to keep up with Sydney's bursting shaker scene, while more boutique and craft beers will join the Australian-heavy wine list.
Whether the facelift convinces hardcore Annandale locals remains to be seen, perhaps the team should try something completely new rather than polish the wartorn limbs of the old, beloved inner-west haunt. But until we've tried those fried chicken burgers, we'll leave off judgement.
Find the Annandale Hotel on the corner of Nelson Street and Parramatta Road, Annandale. Keep up to date with their sweet, sweet reno on their Facebook page.
Published on July 10, 2014 by Shannon Connellan