PLAYMAKER
The Playmaker
Let's play
PLAYMAKER
  • It's Wednesday
    What day is it?
  • Now
    What time is it?
  • Anywhere in Sydney
    Where are you?
  • What do you feel like?
    What do you feel like?
  • And what else?
    And what else?
  • LET'S PLAY
18° & CLOUDY ON WEDNESDAY 20 NOVEMBER IN SYDNEY
FOOD & DRINK

Longstanding Waterloo Pub The George Has Reopened as a Taqueria and Natural Wine Bar

And it might just be your new favourite watering hole.
By Samantha Teague and Marissa Ciampi
April 05, 2019
  shares

Longstanding Waterloo Pub The George Has Reopened as a Taqueria and Natural Wine Bar

And it might just be your new favourite watering hole.
By Samantha Teague and Marissa Ciampi
April 05, 2019
  shares

Head to mainstay Waterloo pub The George this weekend and you'll find that things are a little different. Well, you might not notice at first. There are still locals sitting around the bar in high-vis vests knocking back pints of Resch's and VB. The courtyard is still filled with cacti. And there's still a well worn pool table.

But, sitting next to VB longnecks ($15) in the fridge, you'll see bottles of skin-contact wines and pét-nats, and beers from local breweries Young Henrys and Grifter are also available on tap. The cacti in the courtyard have been joined by a glowing al pastor fountain, and a pond filled with eels, and the adjoining kitchen is turning out tacos and tostadas instead of American-style barbecue. And where the pool table once sat — it's been moved to the front bar — is a fully stocked wine shop courtesy of natural wine retailer Drnks.

The new-look George successfully combines the old and the new — joining the rapid gentrification of the surrounding suburbs — and it's all thanks to its new owners, who aren't new to epic revamps. Co-owners James Wirth and Michael Delany previously bought and made over The Norfolk, The Flinders, The Carrington and The Oxford Tavern, before selling them all in 2016. Most recently, they overhauled the The Duke on Enmore Road.

The George, on the other hand, had never been renovated. "I had my eye on [The George] for over a decade — I always liked the kind of ugly look of it, it's almost like a Commonwealth Bank from the outside" says Wirth. "It's a rare pub because it was built in the 60s, unlike the typical 1800s or 1920s era you see in Sydney."

To keep some of the pub's history in-tact, the team focused on reupholstering and repurposing the pub's original features — including vintage wood panelling found in the basement, which now adorns the walls. For this venue, Wirth and Delany got chef Toby Wilson (Bad Hombres, Ghostboy Cantina) and Drnks founder Joel Amos on board as co-owners, too. Amos heads up the aforementioned bottle shop — which is stocked with everything from a salty white peach beer from NZ's Garage Project to coveted magnums of wine by Gabrio Bini — and the pub's fun and funky drinks list. 

For food, Wilson has created a new concept, Taco King. At the centre of the food offering is the al pastor — an actual al pastor, not a fountain — a Mexican specialty that's based on the Lebanese immigrant version of shawarma spit-grilled meat. The pork coming off the al pastor is served atop tortillas — painstakingly hand-pressed one by one — with onion and salsa. Other specialties include spicy kingfish ceviche tostada ($7.5), quesadillas with chorizo ($9) and thick churros ($8) served with dulce de leche. We're hoping to see eel tacos pop up on the menu sometime soon, too.

To go with the food, is a cocktail list with a distinctly South American edge. There's the Mexican French Martini ($18) made with tequila, the Brazilian-style caipirinha ($16) and the michelada ($14), made with Mexican beer, clamato (clam and tomato) juice and lime. While not strictly South American, you'll find Reverse Cowboys ($7 each) on the menu, too — shots of Baileys and Agavero tequila served in mini glass cowboy boots.

The new-look George is only throwing open its doors for the first time today, Friday, April 5, but we think it might just become your new favourite watering hole.

Find The George at 760 Elizabeth Street, Waterloo. It's open from 11am–11pm Monday to Thursday, 11am–3am Friday–Saturday and 11am–10pm on Sunday.

Images: Kimberley Low.

Published on April 05, 2019 by Samantha Teague

  •   shares
      shares
  • VIEW COMMENTS
Tap and select Add to Home Screen to access Concrete Playground easily next time. x