After weeks of speculation, Ray Reilly has revealed his successful purchase of the Sydney Park Hotel, and says first and foremost it will “remain a pub”.

Reilly is the owner-operator of inner-west mecca The Henson, in nearby Marrickville, and recently sold his beloved Trinity Bar in Surry Hills, citing the need for a new “passion”.

It has arrived in the form of working class stalwart the Sydney Park Hotel, occupying a prominent Newtown corner opposite St Peters station.

Reilly told PubTIC he wishes to pay homage to the pub’s history and Rick and Robin Fotheringham, who have operated and lived at the hotel for 24 years.

“The Sydney Park Hotel has for decades been a working class heritage pub, and this will remain the central focus of the venue with sports, locally brewed beer and classic counter meals on offer,” reports Reilly.

“We will focus on all the things that have worked best for us over the years.”

This will incorporate the practice of sourcing local and ‘ethical’ produce, including literally home-grown crops from a planned rooftop garden.

The menu will include a range of pies made in-house as well as the kind of pub grub expected at the 1891 hotel. It will also become home to the ‘SPH Café’ – where commuters can grab coffee, pastries and other house-made items en-route to the station.

The very Irish Reilly will take possession in July and has now hopped a plane to join relatives back home for a few weeks. He said he has long wanted a King St pub and often considered trying to buy the SPH. Plans are in early stages, but he is very excited about prospects for the place.

“Phase two will see pub-style accommodation rooms on offer with direct access to the CBD.

“More to come.”

The off-market transaction was handled by CBRE Hotel’s national pub director Daniel Dragicevich and new NSW director Sam Handy, who declined to comment.

External sources report the sale price was circa $5 million.

Sydney Park Hotel. Image: Google Earth
Sydney Park Hotel. Image: Google Earth
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