The ultimate resurrection

Come down to this bar before Mike Baird returns to finish what he started

sketch of Lansdowne Hotel facade Art: Ann DIng

After lying dormant for two years, the Lansdowne Hotel has been brought ‘back from the dead’. Jake Smyth and Kenny Graham (owners of Mary’s and The Unicorn Hotel), have transformed the storied pub on the corner of City Road and Broadway into the go to destination for students, music lovers and burger/pizza enthusiasts. Since its resurrection on 15 June, an occasion celebrated with the likes of Sam Margin (the Rubens), Hayley Mary (The Jezebels) and Freddy Crabs (Sticky Fingers) taking the stage to announce the new and improved venue’s arrival, there hasn’t been a slowing in music legends passing through its doors. Nor has the line to get in on a Friday night shortened, much to my impatience.

The Lansdowne Hotel first opened its doors in 1933 and was a well known place for men to gurgle down as many beers as they could before closing time, a practice then known as the 6 o’clock swill. As time went on it became somewhat of a haven for musicians, students and other characters within the
Chippendale area.

Before its temporary closure in August 2015, the Lansdowne drew hungry USyd students with its $10 lunch specials and ridiculously convenient location. The new owners have brought back the $10 lunches, which includes a chuck steak and their own version of ‘mi goreng’ which is a little bit healthier than the instant kind you’d normally eat after you spent your paycheck on rent.

What’s even better than the cheap food, is the cheap gigs, which rarely push you back more than $12 for a ticket. Next week The Jezabels are taking the stage every night until Sunday, followed by Deep Sea Arcade on Friday September 1, Fazerdaze on September 2, and the absolute legends that are The Gooch Palms playing in October.

The new and improved pub has pool and dance poles downstairs, with a smoking area filled with plush lounges and old Playboy posters, that are also (apparently) plastered on the roof of the men’s bathroom. Upstairs you’ll find the stage and the dance floor, which is an intimate space that allows music lovers to be within centimeters of their favourite singers. There is also another bar upstairs, where you can easily quench some hard-earned thirst from moshing too hard to Palms (guilty) or Ciggie Witch (guilty again).

The only downfall about this place is the beer pricing; $7 for a schooner of VB is saddening to any student. But it’s late lockout time of 3:00am, the naughty 80’s vibe, and it’s more than friendly staff makes up for the extra few cents one has to spend on drinks.

As a student that has spent at least one night of my weekend at The Lansdowne since its opening, trust me when I say that it is without a doubt one of the best pubs in Sydney right now. If you want to have a cheap lunch (and maybe a sneaky beer) in between classes go to the Lansy! Or if you want to have a boogie on a dance pole and see a great band, with an equally great crowd, go to the Lansy!

I’ll probably see you there.