Beloved Surry Hills pub the Hollywood Hotel has been sold to a mystery buyer, after it was put on the market in April. It marks the first time the legendary boozer has changed hands in 42 years; the pub had been operated by magnetic local character Doris Goddard, a former vaudeville star and actress in Hollywood, since 1977.

The agency managing the sale, HTL Property, hasn’t confirmed the identity of the buyer – though the Sydney Morning Herald reports the successful bidder is pub company The Petersen Group (Riley St Garage and The Village Inn). HTL Property says the new operator is keen to keep the venue running as a pub. The sale includes the pub’s 3am liquor licence and 10 gaming machines.

“The level of enquiry was as diverse as it was deep,” said trustee Stephen Goddard in a statement. “It brings great pleasure to know the successful party will keep the doors open in a fashion consistent with how Sydney has enjoyed a relationship with this wonderful hotel.”

Complete our survey for the chance to win a $1000 Broadsheet Gift Card.


HTL Property says it had enquiries from “the best hoteliers and restaurateurs in the land, as well as developers”. That included “significant interest” from Los Angeles buyers. The agency hasn’t confirmed the selling price of the pub, but various media are reporting it went for around $10 million.

Former publican Goddard appeared in films with big names of her time, including Bob Hope and Katharine Hepburn. But in 1977 she traded the LA limelight for her Sydney hometown, and became one of the city’s few female publicans. She was known and loved for regaling guests with stories of her showbiz days. Prior to her death in 2019 at 89, she was an outspoken opponent of the lockout laws.