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Jake and Kenny at The Landsdowne
Photograph: Anna Kucera

The Lansdowne is reopening and will host live gigs

Written by
Emily Lloyd-Tait

We've got news that is a proper ray of hope for Sydney's nightlife and cultural future: the Lansdowne is reopening!

And while the revival of a beloved student and rock'n'roller haunt does wonders for the constitution, the giant gold plated cherry on this cupcake is that it's also going to be a proper live music venue, booked by none other than the Rule brothers, who used to book the Annandale back when it was one of the city's best music venues.

The people in charge of this happy heartstarter are none other than Sydney's burger kingpins, Jake Smyth and Kenny Graham from Mary's. Not content with saving just one classic Aussie pub, they're giving the Landy some serious hospo CPR.

The pub is set to reopen in a blaze of new glory, hopefully by the June long weekend. The ground floor bar is going to be much as you remember it, with a pool table, solid timber bar, a new kitchen, and a 3am licence six nights a week. Out the back is going to be a big open area where smokers can gasbag over a beer, plus a mini stage with a pole for burlesque.

Upstairs is where things get really interesting. The dining room where you once replenished your meagre iron levels with $5 steaks is gone and in its place will be a proper band room that holds approximately 250 people. "It's going to be a bit glam and a bit dirty" says Smyth. "Maybe some crushed velvet" adds Graham.

Expect warren-like nooks and private haunts, romantic corners and a psychedelic games room with pinball and Big Buck Hunter. On the third floor Village Living Australia will be managing a ten-room hostel.

A kickass natural wine list from the Mary's chaps is par for the course, but at the Lansdowne they're going to be working with producers to try and keep costs down. Shit tinnies and a short, sharp, classic cocktail list cover the remaining bases.

They'll also be running different menus for lunch, dinner and late night eats. The five-buck steak may not be resurrected, but there'll be ten-dollar lunches; Detroit-style deep-dish pizzas; and the supper menu after 11pm will change region every few months, kicking off with Korean American. From there it might wend its way through Northern Thailand perhaps, or Singapore, Oaxaca, Szechuan...

Cold beers, cheap lunches, late nights and a new home for live music in Sydney is exactly what the doctor ordered, and we've never been happier to take our medicine.

Fancy seeing a gig? Here's our pick of the Sydney musicians you should be looking out for right now.

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