By James Atkinson

Thousands of locals have poured into Sydney's Newtown Hotel in its first days of operations following a huge refurbishment effort over the last 12 months by The Keystone Group.

Pictured L-R: Keystone directors Anthony Prior, Paul Schulte and John Duncan

The 720-capacity, three-level Newtown Hotel officially opened on Wednesday, but Keystone managing director and ALIA publican of the year John Duncan told TheShout that locals have already embraced the venue following a soft launch a couple of weeks ago.

"It's been better than we ever thought, we've had a queue outside the door on Friday and Saturday nights," he said.

"We didn't really advertise it in any way."

The pub's revamped ground floor space has a traditional pub feel with dark green tiles, a large central bar, high booths and Chesterfield lounges. [continues below]

The ground floor bar

"What we tried to do there is bring the old hotel to life," Duncan said. "We wanted to make it very familiar for a Newtown local to come in."

Keystone has also introduced a new courtyard that is 100 per cent waterproof, with retractable awnings that will enable it to be used all year round. [continues below]

The beer garden, with retractable awning

But Duncan is most excited about the pub's new counterweight balcony, with the original balcony having been removed from hotel in the mid 1920s.

"To get that reinstated and put back on, it's the most wanted space in the whole venue," he said. [continues below]

The balcony overlooking King Street

Also on the first floor is The Animal, a casual dining venue offering an all-day, Greek-inspired menu with shared plates and meat from a charcoal spit.

For a more intimate experience or special occasion, there is a chef's table for 12 and a private dining room in the form of a retro caravan decked out with purple velvet chairs, a black and white chequered floor and its own karaoke machine.

The final level of the hotel includes a cinema room for 18 people that will host regular movie nights and will also be available for hire. 

First floor eatery, The Animal 

Liquor-wise, the pub's draught beer selection is 80 per cent Carlton & United Breweries, with the remainder including Coopers and the Lion-owned James Squire and Little Creatures.

It also offers cocktails and a draught wine selection that includes prosecco, rose, as well as whites and reds.

Duncan said the venue will be catering for all, with entertainment including drag shows and DJs.

"We don't want to change Newtown, we want to be a part of it," he said.

"We really did a lot of work on the locals and understood the crowd before we started the 12-month renovation."

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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1 Comment

  1. They sure did their research! Inspired having a Greek restaurant and the rest if the venue is co but comfortable.
    Well done.

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