The Old Fitzroy
After multiple owners, the 150-year-old Woolloomooloo pub was snatched up by hospitality group Odd Culture (The Oxford Tavern, The Duke Of Enmore) at the end of 2020.
The group has maintained the pub’s historic features, with a few updates to help the old bits shine. Some of the furniture has been updated and the kitchen has been zhooshed up, but the most notable update is the new 100-seat outdoor-dining area. It’s the perfect place to sip beers and vino from afternoon into evening and snack on head chef Anna Ugarte-Carral’s lofty pub grub. The space looks essentially the same, but that’s the beauty of it.
Despite her fine-dining DNA, Ugarte-Carral (who won the prestigious Josephine Pignolet young chef award in 2020) hasn’t tried to reinvent the wheel. She describes the menu as approachable, with brasserie, bistro vibes.
For starters, you might find kingfish terrine, borlotti beans with honey bug, and tomato on toast; plus mains such as steak frites, and blue mackerel with cavolo nero and mustard. Sweet options might include little Sarah Bernhardt cakes (named for the French actor, they’re made of a biscuit topped with ganache and covered with melted chocolate), at four dollars a pop.
On the drinks front, expect a healthy beer menu (Odd Culture gets its name from the group’s former beer bar at The Taphouse in Darlinghurst), plus a selection of wines ranging from approachable to challenging, including a good range of natural options.
Odd Culture is also renewing its focus on the pub’s theatre, which is operated by Red Line Productions.