The famed Jacksons on George pub in Sydney’s CBD reopens on Monday 11 September, combining a public bar, bistro and rooftop bar under an architecturally designed roof.
Having been closed since 2018, the new three-level Jacksons on George is the centrepiece of Lendlease’s new Sydney Place precinct. It is also the first venue from new hospitality group DTL Entertainment Group (DTLE).
The new Jacksons on George offers a spread of experiences guided by DTLE creative director Maurice Terzini and general manager Michael Broome, with head chef Steven Sinclair (ex Icebergs Dining Room and Bar, Northern Ireland’s The Old Schoolhouse Inn and the Potted Hen) leading the food menu across all three spaces.
“Immaculate attention to detail and ingredients from renowned local producers are the throughlines connecting the Public Bar, Bistro George and the Rooftop,” says Broome.
“Steven has unleashed his wealth of experience on each menu, weaving together Jacksons’ signature style of European-influenced bistro dishes with classic Aussie fare across all three dining spaces.”
While Broome’s two decades of experience managing small and large-scale pubs and bars positions him perfectly to steer the complex operational requirements of a three-level venue.
Design and layout
The interiors of Jacksons on George, were designed by Richards Stanisich in collaboration with DTLE, taking inspiration from the venue’s rich history and the surrounding urban landscape.
Richards Stanisich approached the brief with the vision of a quintessential Australian pub’s DNA and deconstructed this idea into a contemporary interpretation of a multi-level hospitality venue.
The Public Bar on the ground floor boasts expansive street frontage, and has a 6.4m long bar, constructed in a mixed palette of warm timber and earthy stone. Up to 120 guests can be seated both inside and out.
Bistro George, nestled into the second level, displays a more sophisticated and opulent approach compared to the traditional dining spaces of pubs. Drawing from the richness of a grand Italo-Australian dining room, Bistro George features tones of burgundy and olive, warm timbers and bronze wall-to-wall carpet – a contrast to the minimalism of the level below. While the restaurant can accommodate up to 120 diners, a private dining space for up to 30 guests is tucked into the back corner of Bistro George, offering a more intimate opportunity for gatherings and celebrations.
On the third level sits Jackson on George’s crown jewel, the urban Rooftop bar. A striking architectural veil adorns the sun-drenched rooftop, the space providing views of Sydney’s cityscape and the perfect vantage point to observe the buzz of the city over a cocktail. High and low tables are
dotted throughout the 200-person capacity space while an awning provides a reprieve from the sunshine when required.
Music and art are also key components throughout the venue, with commissioned artwork by local artists, including award-winning Yankunytjatjara artist Kaylene Whiskey (Archibald Prize finalist 2020 and 2023, and 2018 winner of the Sir John Sulman Prize at the Art Gallery of New South Wales). Whiskey has created a 1.8 x 1.5 metre artwork in her signature style, which champions kungka kunpu (strong women) while weaving in references to pop culture and Anangu culture and traditions.
A glance upwards from the bottom of the stairwell that connects all three levels will reward you with a burst of colour thanks to an artwork entitled ‘The Star We Live By’ from world-renowned creative Marty Baptist.
“This creative collaboration marks an exciting new chapter of hospitality for the CBD, fusing the worlds of hospitality, architecture, design and art which we hope delivers an experience that is unique to this city,” says Kirsten Stanisich, director of Richards Stanisich.
“Jacksons on George is a love letter to Sydney, presenting a design inspired by the characters, stories and memories from its past while looking towards the future of the vibrant city scene.”
A music program is also integral to Jacksons on George, with DJs every night of the week on the rooftop, while in the Bistro’s late night bar jazz trio house band The Jacksons All Stars, led by Abby Constable, will play on Wednesdays and Thursdays and a vinyl DJ, Fridays and Saturdays.
Both the Public Bar and Rooftop will share similar menus, with elevated takes on pub classics. The Duck Sausage Roll is set to be a favourite: cotechino, a slow-cooked Italian sausage, is reimagined here with Maremma free-range duck mixed with saltbush, which is wrapped in buttery puff pastry, topped with wattleseed and sesame and baked fresh every morning. Other menu highlights include a Moreton Bay Bug Bun, Gin Rigatoni and Spatchcock Cotoletta.
At Bistro George, bistro classics with local ingredients reign supreme. Think Clams Casino with local pipis, whole Yellow Belly Flounder, or a Coppertree Farms Retired Dairy Cow Eye Fillet.
“The ethos at Bistro George is all about recognisable bistro classics, elegantly executed with quality ingredients,” says Sinclair.
“Meanwhile, everything on the Public Bar and Rooftop menu is designed to be accessible and familiar. Think pub and bistro classics, elevated with the best produce and on-point service, regardless of what dish you order and where you dine.”
Bar Manager Sam Kirk (ex-Montreal’s The Coldroom and El Pequeño, Kensington Street Social) has taken the lead on the cocktail menu, which features a small handful of cocktails created in collaboration with Re–’s Matt Whiley.
Each level has its own signature drink, from a Dark and Stormy at the Public Bar, to a Japanese Slipper on the rooftop. Negronis and Bellinis are the main beverages at Bistro George, which will also have a Martini trolley.
“I can’t wait for Sydneysiders to visit Jacksons on George,” says Terzini.
“Great food and drinks intersect with contemporary art and music across all three levels to create a vibrant, contemporary venue. Our goal was to create a destination that had broad appeal yet retained a firm identity and we’ve achieved that. I just want the doors open so we can make the most of this amazing weather with sunset drinks up at the Rooftop bar. I tip that as being a place to be this summer.”