FANATICAL LIVINGSTONE REOPENS HOTEL WILLIAM AS HYDE PARK HOUSE

In Changing Times by Clyde Mooney

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Warren Livingstone has thrown open the doors to Laundy’s former Hotel William in East Sydney, rebranded Hyde Park House.

The four-level pub on William Street was built 1919, and was once described by Arthur Laundy as having the “best rooftop in Sydney”.

Following a half-year JV, Livingstone took over the tired city pub, planning a makeover to restore its old glory and modernise the business offering.

Street level has now reopened, the Public Bar boasting an old-school circular bar, painstakingly sourced classic pub tiles, and 16 beers on tap.

The all-important menu takes the line of quality pub offerings, with beer-battered fish and chips, a classic rump steak, and generous chicken parmigiana beside arancini balls and chicken wings with chipotle mayo, and a selection of stone-baked pizzas.

July will see the Club Lounge open on the second level, destined for private functions up to 250 pax.

Level three is a cocktail bar called Jessie’s, offering DJs and drag shows, and the same menu as the Public Bar.

And next month will also see the unveiling of Slim’s – an enormous rooftop bar with stunning views of the city and harbour.

“It’s got the most amazing view, of the Cathedral, Hyde Park, up William Street,” says licensee and GM Adrienne Brown. “We like to say people who love Sydney will love this view.”

Slim’s is adorned with retro umbrellas in pink and orange, and flourishing succulents. It will offer a menu of sushi, sashimi and sizzling plates by chef Taichi Ito. There are also plans to use the space for a rooftop cinema and morning yoga classes.

The name derives from celebrity photographer Slim Aarons, whose images Livingstone and designer Will Dangar used as inspiration.

Livingstone is the name behind the success of Waverley’s Charing Cross Hotel, and an identity in the realm of the Fanatics. He is currently touring Russia in pursuit of World Cup excitement.

Brown told PubTIC he’s a “pretty interesting guy” to work for.

“I’m pretty interesting, but he’s a fanatic,” she says. “He deals in fun.”