Following months of painstaking, history-stained renovations, Sydney’s oldest pub will re-open tomorrow to serve pub fare for another two centuries.

The Rocks’ famous Fortune of War pub closed back in July for a well-earned refurbishment, and owners, Steven Speed’s WDS Hotel Group, found there was more to be done than first thought.

“Our special little gem has traded non-stop since the early 1920s, and the equipment behind the scenes was pretty much buggered!” admitted Speed.

“Much of the work completed won’t be seen from the surface as it is largely in the basement and behind the bar, but it will be felt – the changes are all designed to make the experience better for our customers.”

Walking a fine line between modernity and maintaining historic integrity, the ‘new’ interior features many original elements, including original tiles kept around the bar and walls, a period colour palette, and replacement heritage boards in parts of the floor.

Refreshed aspects include upgraded electrics, lighting and sound, new carpet, warm timber joinery, underground cool room, air-conditioning, and new matching frames for the historic prints on the wall.

On the menu, pub favourites of burgers, steak and schnitzels sit beside delicious additions such as Chorizo & Prawn Spaghetti and Grilled Chicken Summer Salad, and the Fortune of War’s famous lamb shoulder Shepherd’s Pie.

Feeding the family focus, a kids’ menu offers a range of options, and a $15 meal deal of dinner, drink and an activity pack, containing puzzles and colouring-in “for keeping busy little kids occupied!”.

To drink, there is the new wine list, featuring renowned and boutique Australian and International wineries, and sixteen taps of beer and cider.

Speed told PubTIC he is really pleased to finally re-open the beloved old pub, which has been serving patrons on Sydney’s foreshore for over 188 years.

“As business owners we live, love and enjoy this place as much as the customers do so we wouldn’t dare change its appeal.”



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