Police and emergency services were called to a fire at the Petersham Inn around 1:20am overnight after receiving reports of smoke coming from the building.
The pub on Parramatta Road was closed at the time, but Fire & Rescue NSW officers attended and extinguished a small fire inside. Around 40 nearby residents were evacuated from their homes as a precaution.
A door to the premises was found to have been smashed in, and a jerry can was found nearby.
But damage from the fire was minimal, and not likely to be the handiwork of anyone proficient in arson.
Police established a crime scene and are seeking evidence and any person with knowledge of the incident.
The Petersham Inn has seen some controversy in recent times, since its sale in 2016. Locals have reportedly not been too pleased with its revival as a strip and topless establishment, the market for which has been focused by the nearby Oxford’s transition to become a trendy inner-west pub.
The pub confirmed it was back open for trade today, and may eventually benefit from the attention.