NEW FLINDERS HOTEL OPENS TO REVISED SYDNEY MARKET

In Changing Times by Clyde Mooney

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Looking to the future, long-standing Sydney local the Flinders Hotel has reopened to a new environment in a new year.

Located on Flinders Street, close to gay-central Taylor Square and just inside the wet-blanket lockout zone, the Flinders has had a long history as a somewhat sordid late-trader, typically haunted by Oxford Street flotsam and revellers that possibly should have gone home.

A new and privately wary owner has cautiously re-opened the 1916 pub, and told PubTIC about the new plans for a change of opportunity in the re-invented fringe of Darlinghurst.

“We’re not really targeting the gay community and decided against reviving the place for live music,” he explains. “We’re moving away from those a bit, heading more toward DJs playing hip-hop and R&B and attracting lots of good-looking young women – and men.”

Taking over a century-old pub that had largely remained unchanged, the team “spent a bit of money” refurbishing, stripping the green tiles on the bar in favour of marble bench tops and new furniture, and converting upstairs into a classy New York-style ‘cigar lounge’ and function space.

Suggesting plans to turn the pub into an arts and music cultural hub for “the cool people”, lots of new and original street art now adorns the walls.

The menu champions gourmet pizzas, the likes of peri-peri chicken, lamb and pulled port – served on crafted dough made from Swiss flour. There are also on-trend burgers and ribs on offer.

Suitable promoters publicised the venue in the lead-up to the 2017 Mardi Gras, and while the quiet opening in mid-December heralded a return to the Flinders’ live band hey-day, the new owners have determined the challenges for the city-fringe pub are too great.

“The day we opened, we paid a live band to play a few songs to see what it was like. We went outside, across the road, and it was so loud. We expect to relaunch as a DJ venue in a couple of weeks.”