During the makeover the pub was stripped back, scrubbed, whitewashed, polished and groomed. They’ve done a commendable job with the interior: a poor man’s library of faux-bookcase wallpaper sits well with the cosy vibe, candelabras drippingwith wax and small bottles of flowers sit atop the tables and the bar is a beautifully wide thing, easy to sit at with a beer or a ladle of mulled wine.
All rounder is not an insult, especially when it’s describing a neighbourhood party bar that knows how to keep things cruisey in the early part of the week and ramp it up for a blow out at the pointy end. And that is a particular skill of Freda’s, the Chippendale bar tucked out of sight off Regent Street just down from the White Rabbit Gallery. Head here on a school night and gentle disco and house mixes are kept at comfortable chatting volume – put this on your first-date bar list.
There’s a big difference between reviving an old pub and renovating the hell out of it. So lovers of aged, inner-city Sydney boozers will be glad to hear the Lord Gladstone's new look is free from Americana, taxidermy, Mexican souvenirs or anything Hampton themed. Cards on the table, there are tacos on the menu, but that’s as fad-friendly as this place gets.
Where once was a temple to sticky carpeted uni shenanigans, now stands a vintage-styled cocktail bar beneath a slick boutique hotel, complete with rooftop pool. About time too. A thirsty person was in danger of expiring before they found a decent spot for a stiff drink around Central – but our oasis has finally arrived and it’s pouring $11 pints of Reschs, or whatever is on the two craft taps.
If your afternoon involves setting up camp in the beer garden at this Chippendale institution and making jugs of beer and pizzas vanish without a trace, things can’t be going too badly for you. The picnic tables out the back are hard won territory and only reluctantly relinquished in heavy rain. The local universities are responsible for a lot of the filled seats here, but there are plenty of Chippendale locals here for a beer and the NRL.