After a five-month closure following fines related to drunkenness and drugs on the premises, Erskineville’s beloved Imperial Hotel opened with new owners in December 2015.

The LGBTQI-friendly venue was, and continues to be, an essential part of Erskineville's nightlife scene.

The hotel was bought in August 2018 by Scott Leach, owner of Erskineville mainstay The Rose of Australia, and Fraser Shaw, founder of Sydney Collective, which owns properties such as The Morrison Bar and Oyster Room, Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel and Daniel San in Manly.

For now, the ground floor is a small bar focusing on cocktails. The Imperial’s feature cocktail is the Drunk in Love: a blend of Campari, Tanqueray, lemon and watermelon served in a Collins glass. Expect classics with a twist including the Negroni Ice Tea and the Cinnamon-Spiced Old Fashion. The bar also offers a range of beers on tap and a mix of local and international wines.

Currently, the hotel serves pizza and hopes to expand to a full kitchen in the future.

Behind the bar on the same level is The Sweet Escape, an intimate back-door cabaret room. It features performances by local artists and musicians.

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Updated: July 5th, 2023

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