The historic White Horse Hotel of St Peters has been sold to new hoteliers, as they saddle up to continue the entertainment quest and launch the music-lovin’ McLovin’s.

August, 1930. Image: Australian National University

Set on the arterial Princes Highway at St Peters, a pub named the Hero of Waterloo Inn was in operation on the site since 1853. It was sold to John Richardson Jr, who changed the name to the White Horse Hotel.

After his passing in 1879, his widow, Honora, took over management and in 1884 built a replacement beside the original pub. She passed away in 1910 and it was sold in 1914 to Tooth & Company, which built a new two-storey brick structure on the property in 1930.

Decades later, the long-standing landmark fell victim to hard times and closed, in 2020.

After a respite, a new tenant took the reins, and following some capital works the doors reopened at the end of 2022, as The House of Music and Booze (HM&B).

The venue was “instrumental” in the journey to bring Sydney’s live music scene “back from the brink of death” and provided a suitable arena for both emerging and established artists, including Caitlin Harnett & The Pony Boys, COFFIN, The Hard Ons and more.

Last year the folks behind HM&B decided to move on, offering opportunity to continue a tradition that has spanned more than 180 years in the area.

It has now sold for an undisclosed price to Jamie and Kristeen Hammond, who own and operate the successful Pistou restaurant in Newtown.

The change in ownership heralds an “exciting new chapter” for the suburban watering hole, bringing plans to freshen the exterior and restore the facade ‘to its former glory’, celebrating a history that dates back “to the times when you didn’t need a second mortgage to fill the car up with petrol”.

Leading the reinvention is a revival of the White Horse moniker – alongside a new concept, ‘McLovin’s’.

The hotel remains committed to nurturing the hard-working music scene, while evolving into a dynamic venue through the Hammonds’ vision to expand on its entertainment and live music events.

“McLovin’s aims to become a premier destination, offering a diverse array of musical genres every weekend,” says Jamie.

“From indie to metal, hip hop to jazz and even burlesque – there’s something for every music lover.”

The Horse holds the somewhat dubious honour of being Sydney’s most robbed pub. McLovin’s will initially continue the four days a week operations of HM&B before increasing trading to seven days, as per a more traditional pub, and introducing a fully equipped kitchen.

To optimise its trading potential, the new owners are also making the space available for private events.

“While the name might raise eyebrows initially, McLovin’s is poised to become the epitome of cool in town,” continues Jamie.

“Get ready to embrace the nerdy-chic vibe and experience the magic of McLovin’s!”

Sale of the hotel was through Retail Business Hospitality Brokers’ Barn Wilkes, who says there was no shortage of interest in the inner west local.  

“There was an overwhelming response to the campaign, with 137 enquiries received in total,” he explains.

“In only two months on the market, the pub went under offer, with an agreed settlement.”


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