You know that dingy pub on William Street? The one at the back of the Australian Museum, which until recently had a lime-cordial neon sign with different fonts for “Hotel” and “William”? It’s about to get one of the biggest pub makeovers in inner Sydney.
Opening around June 8, the first part of the revamp will see the first floor change from a burgundy-carpeted, pokie-friendly drinking hole to a craft-beer-slinging burger bonanza with Josh Arthurs at the helm. “We’ve really concentrated on cleaning the place up,” says co-owner Warren Livingstone. “The interior will be a lot more colourful than it was previously.” Street artists Georgia Hill and Alex Lehours will collaborate on interior murals that Livingstone says will “pay homage to the local legends”.
As Broadsheet reported last month, Arthurs will serve the same style of burgers he’s become famous for at the Annandale, Danno’s and with Hashtag Burgers in North Sydney. Livingstone says they’re working on making this Arthurs’ first permanent kitchen after his nomadic traipsing around Sydney. The venue, to be open daily, will host Arthurs from Wednesday to Sunday and something else, yet to be decided, on Monday and Tuesday nights.
Accompanying the burgers will be cocktails and 12 rotating taps of craft beers. In the morning the booze will be replaced by a simple cafe service doing takeaway coffees and pastries.
Part two of the renovation is where it gets crazy. The burgers, beer, coffee and graffiti are just on the ground floor of this five-storey venue. Judging by the swift change in Livingstone’s tone, the most exciting part will be the top floor. “It's got a rooftop that's unrivalled in Sydney. It’s enormous, the biggest in Sydney by far,” he says. “It will be European-influenced, like an afternoon cocktail hour with a beautiful sunset overlooking Hyde Park.”
The fourth floor will be a function space, and below that will sit a new restaurant. No chef has signed on yet but Livingstone says it will be linked to the rooftop in theme, serving contemporary European food. The final part of the plan is the basement, an enormous space itself, which will transform into a wine bar styled as a speak-easy.
“We really want to build something fantastic,” says Livingstone.
The ground floor of Hotel William will open on June 8. The other floors will open in 2017–18.
49–49 William Street, Darlinghurst
(02) 9361 6548
Mon to Sat: 10am–midnight
Update on June 27: Josh Arthurs is no longer serving burgers at Hotel Williams. He'll be popping up at The Annandale on July 13.