Following a punctuated revival renovation, Ged Dore has lifted the lid on the re-monikered Enmore Hotel in Sydney’s vibrant inner west.

The former Sly Fox fell foul of liquor authorities early 2020. A pandemic-tainted sales process followed, before news was confirmed in June that Dore would be taking the new 30-year lease at the pub.

Built 1879, the Enmore Hotel is a the three-storey Victorian pub with public bars, gaming and 13 accommodation rooms upstairs.

Its latest incarnation, designed by Lucia Braham, sees inspiration for “A 1970s pub for today’s community”. This means not aiming to be family-friendly, with kids not allowed, and licensed midday to 3am six days a week.

Image: Chantel St Quintin

Dore says the ‘restoration’ was indeed largely repairs and maintenance, finding the plumbing and electrics in serious disarray. In the region of a million dollars was spent to achieve a timeless persona of “just a pub on a corner in Enmore”.

“It’s had a few interesting chapters, but it’s gone back to its origins, really,” says Dore.

Despite the aim for an old-school pub, the new look certainly wants to appeal to the roughly 4,000 Enmore locals of today, who are 50 per cent female.

To this end the former ladies’ lounge is no more, with the traditional public bar for men at the front now the new ladies’ lounge, replete with jukebox and pool tables, offering cold beer, hot pies and classic Aussie tunes. To the rear is the sports room, with grandstand and multiple TVs.

The new old-style Enmore Hotel opened without fuss on Monday, and Dore reports early signs are it is hitting the mark.

“In the first few days we’ve restored faith with the locals that the corner pub is back; we’ve got old guys drinking Reschs.

“I’m just very relieved to have it open.”

Enmore boasts dozens of restaurants, a brewery and multiple small bars. The Enmore Hotel does not count a kitchen and plans to promote the idea to come in “before and after” – whether that be before or after dinner, the brewery, the theatre, or after work.

It is a goal to encourage a steady rotation of tables, with no real peak but turning over steadily from mid-afternoon through to closing.

Beyond its revived persona, Dore sees a big future in the accommodation following the success in this by business partner Ray Reilly, and is generally excited about the Enmore area, with its “diversity – every different nationality and style”.

Brigette Jakobsen, designer Lucia Braham & Bozzy. Image: Chantel St Quintin

Fine-tuning the all-important demographic revision for the Enmore is incoming licensee Brigette Jakobsen, who Dore says adds the right stuff to an old tradition.

“A lot of pubs are blokey,” he explains. “It’s ultimately a pub – but one that inner west girls could feel like it’s their pub.”

The career publican is thankful to a lot of parties involved in getting to today, not least being the bank and landlord.

“If it wasn’t for family and friends I wouldn’t have gotten it open,” he offers. “I’m really happy with it.”

Image: Lucia B
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