Sydney’s Best Pub Transformations

Drink, Pubs, Sydney / 1 April 2022

A bunch of hospitality heavyweights have transformed some of the city’s oldest pubs into boujee playgrounds. Here are some of our favourites!

Tap beer, chicken schnitzel, live music & sports. What’s not to love about pub culture! A bunch of Sydney’s oldest pubs have scored major renovations in the last year and we’ve rounded up some of our favourites.

The Strand, Darlinghurst

This old pub has had a major renovation and we can officially say after our visit that it is worthy of your next date night. With booth seating, modern interiors and a fireplace roaring through the restaurant, you and your loved one will be smitten as ever. The menu has taken a bistro turn with signatures such as steak frites, duck leg, chicken liver parfait and creme brulee. Find out more here.

The Castlereagh, CBD

Landmark CBD venue, the Castlereagh Club, has transformed its first level into a warm, local pub style bistro. The revamp will elevate the existing space to show natural wood tones with splashes of greenery. The fare will feature iconic pub classics with a twist including the Suckling Pig Sausage Roll served with decadently rich apple butter and a Buttermilk Chicken Schnitzel. Find out more here.

Pumphouse, Darling Harbour

The Darling Harbour institution has reopened its doors after an extensive refurbishment. The chic industrial design speaks to the heritage of the building, but that’s not all that has been done with the historic pub. City workers and punters will be welcomed back with a plentiful collection of craft beers, a brand new wine room and an elevated menu of pub classics. Find out more here

Watson’s, Moore Park

The all-new Watson’s entered the Sydney pub scene following a million-dollar renovation of the renowned PJ Gallagher’s Irish Pub. The venue has a whole new look boasting two stories of bright, open spaces perfect for mingling. There’s a sun-drenched beer garden for long lunches and Sunday sessions with live music, a courtyard bar, and a 4-meter mega screen so you can catch all the sporting action. Find out more here

The Richmond Inn, Richmond

Located in the outer western suburbs of Sydney and beside the Hawkesbury River, The Richmond Inn has scored a million-dollar renovation. It’s your casual, everyday pub lunch spot serving up all the classics like steaks and schnitzels. The hero of the renovation is the outdoor dining area sitting under a beautiful jacaranda tree, decorated with cacti and rustic brickwork. Find out more here

Norfolk House & Hotel, Redfern

Spanning two levels, the venue now includes two bars, an expansive outdoor courtyard and a mix of lifestyle spaces for socialising of all types. The courtyard features large timber tables for gathering and a $25,000 16-spit roast barbeque to keep the locals well fed. Think Wagyu Rump Steak, BBQ Prawns and Smoked Pork sausages. Find out more here

The Redfern, Redfern

After the doors to this historic pub closed in 1990, the place undertook a restoration with a major facelift across two levels. The new space features a warm and welcoming public bar on the street level and a more vibing cocktail bar and lounge upstairs. The styling is contemporary with teal-coloured tiles, stained timber frames around the windows, a brass and zinc top bar and seating amongst exposed brickwork. Find out more here

Harbour Hotel, Freshwater

The iconic Harbord Hotel had a redesign, taking cues from Freshwater’s history and unique claim as the birthplace of surfboard riding in Australia. There’s a mural from local artist Ash Holmes that greet guests before you head into the sun-drenched courtyard for a relaxed evening drink. Plus, the exterior of the building is expected to offer a new sun-bleached identity with portions of the venue that have been covered up for decades will be exposed, revealing memories of bygone coastal flair. Find out more here

Got another in mind that should be added to the list? Email us at