Located in the heart of Woolloomooloo, the walls of this heritage listed hotel could tell a few stories from the decades since it opened way back in 1873. The most recent chapter, however, is less about wharfies blowing their pay packs on beer and debauchery, and more summertime vibes and Mediterranean eats.
The Woolloomooloo Bay Hotel (or, the Woolly Bay to locals) has undergone a massive $14 million renovation courtesy of the Laundy Hotels group, and pays homage to the area's storied history as well as the relatively tranquil surroundings. Each of the pub's three levels offers something different, with the ground floor remaining largely the same but with a new fireplace to keep the pub days of yore well and truly alive.
On the second level comes Arturo's, led by Laundy Hotels' executive chef Jamie Gannon and head chef, Adam Holt. The new 100-person casual dining restaurant serves up a Mediterranean-style menu celebrating Australian produce.
Finally, up on level three, the crowning jewel is a purpose-built rooftop space, named Arturo's Rooftop, which offers sweeping views of Woolloomooloo Bay and the Art Gallery of NSW. The glass-encased sky-high bar offers year-round protection from the elements, so ain't no clouds are gonna rain on this parade.
This rooftop oasis features a canopy of latticed bamboo, shimmering mosaic tile tabletops, camel-coloured accents and quartzite pavers — reminiscent of a Grecian beach club. Arturo’s small plates are again the order of the day on the rooftop, while house mixologist Fabrizio Vani specialises in Martinis, both shaken and stirred.
Woolly Bay Hotel is open seven days a week with lunch and dinner restaurant reservations at Arturo’s on level one available from Thursday through to Sunday, and Arturo’s rooftop open daily. Reservations can be made via the website.