The Royal Hotel at Five Ways in Paddington has always had a solid pub offering – it’s a local institution that’s been going strong since it opened in 1888. For decades the corner pub’s rooftop has been beloved by locals as a meeting place for a schooner and views of the city. Downstairs, its sports bar is a go-to for footy fans on match days.

Earlier this month the boozer closed for just four days, reopening on September 12 with updated interiors and menus across its four levels. Each floor now has a distinct offering, from the revamped ground-floor sports bar all the way up to the rooftop bar made for sipping rosé at sunset.

You’ll find an updated version of the pub’s original aesthetic on the ground floor. Expect polished concrete, bentwood bar stools and brass finishes. There are all the features you’d expect from any great sports bar, including a classic pub grub menu of schnitzels, seafood and burgers. The big screens on the walls and a slew of craft beers on tap hint that this is still a spot for locals to enjoy big games.

The idea for the project was originally ignited on level one, when Public House Management Group (which took over the pub four years ago) decided to give the existing Elephant Bar a new look and life of its own. The relaunched Elephant Bar and Dining now spreads across levels one and two. It has a Mediterranean-inspired menu, and interiors with raw, natural touches including marble countertops and tables, straw lampshades and chairs, and plenty of greenery. In the sprawling space you’ll find a restaurant, a cocktail lounge and function spaces designed by in-house interiors expert Amandine Odouard (who also redid the Four in Hand Hotel, previously owned by the same group) in collaboration with co-owners Mitchell and Harriett Waugh. Each space has a different look: there’s a blue-and-white nautical theme in one room, and jungle-print wallpaper in another.

Once you’ve taken a seat, you’ll want to get comfortable. The menu is best enjoyed shared, and uses flavours and ingredients you’d expect to find along the Mediterranean coast. Start with grilled Western Australian octopus; follow it up with Italian buffalo mozzarella with melon and prosciutto; and finish with chilli spanner crab linguini with garlic, lemon and tomato.

The drinks are by the hotel’s ex-bar manager, Kurtis Bosley (who now owns and operates Dee Why diner Corretto). He’s put together a menu of cocktails designed to help diners cool off on balmy summer nights.

“Each drink finds its place on the menu to cater to our guests’ ever-growing desire for unique and approachable flavour combinations,” he tells Broadsheet. “[The] early pick for the drink of summer is our Five Ways Sling [Pama Pomegranate liqueur, strawberry-infused gin, lime and rhubarb bitters].”

The final piece of the puzzle is the revamped rooftop space. It’s had a retractable roof added to allow for year-round al fresco drinking, and now has rosé on-tap. With the weather warming up and summer not far off, it’s likely to be a new favourite for regulars and new visitors alike.

The Royal Hotel Paddington
237 Glenmore Road, Paddington

Mon to Sat 10am–12am
Sun 11am–10pm