After undergoing 14 weeks of restoration work, Sydney's oldest pub, the Fortune of War in The Rocks, will reopen to the public on Saturday, 8 October.
With the last major works conducted in the 1920s, and after more than 188 years of operation, owners WDS Hotels decided it was time to undertake restorations and structural repairs.
The charm of the pub has been maintained – with the Fortune of War has stayed true to its roots with warm timbers, a traditional colour palette, and the original tiles kept around the bar and walls.
Director, Steven Speed (WDS Hotel Group) commented on the scope of the works. “As business owners we live, love and enjoy this place as much as the customers do so we wouldn't dare change its appeal. Our special little gem has traded non-stop since the early 1920s and the equipment behind the scenes was pretty much buggered. 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.”
The timber surfaces have been restored, the walls painted, the carpet replaced, and each of the historic prints of the walls have been reframed.
Some floorboards have been replaced with heritage hardwood boards; a completely new cool room has been installed; electricals, lighting and sound has been upgraded; and a new air conditioning system installed.
The classic pub-style menu has been refreshed and includes burgers, steak, and schnitzel, as well as some new additions. The Fortune of War Shepherd’s Pie which includes braised lamb shoulder, topped with creamy mash and a side of minted mushy peas remains, and is accompanied by chorizo and prawn spaghetti; grilled chicken summer salad; and a mushroom burger with beetroot, blue cheese mayo, and chips.
The pub has 16 taps for beer and cider as well as an overhauled wine list offering a range of drops from both Australian and unternational wineries.