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Three girls sitting in a pub.
Photograph: Supplied | The Village Inn

Don't want to see another historic Sydney pub close? You can help by signing this digital petition

This pokie-free pub with a beautiful balcony, $12 Aperols and a bangin' food menu is under threat from developers

Written by
Helen Foster

Fancy visiting a pub with a beautiful sun-kissed balcony, $12 happy hour Aperol Spritzes, no pokies – and even a seriously good Scotch Egg on the menu? That's what you'll find at the Village Inn pub in Paddington, at least for now. It's one of the community's favourite pubs, which is why a new development application proposing the historic pub be turned into a clothing shop has got the locals fired up.

Located at the Oxford Street end of Glenmore Road, the Village Inn first became a pub sometime around 1888, meaning it's possibly Paddington’s oldest watering hole. 

Walk in and, depending on the day of the week, you might find couples on dates, groups of mums on a night out, Swans fans congregating before a game, and a large number of cute dogs looking longingly at anyone eating the pie. It’s a pub where you really do feel like any age or demographic is welcome. Despite this, the development application that's putting the pub under threat states that ‘the original use and purpose of the building as a hotel has become redundant as Paddington has moved from a working-class suburb’.

The application proposes to turn the pub into a store for fashion brand Alemais on the ground floor, and office space above. 

Local residents are horrified at the idea of losing the pub – and the reasoning behind it. "We reject the unsupported argument in the Weir Phillips Heritage submission that suggests the hotel is redundant because Paddington is no longer a working-class area," says local resident Will Marshall.

"This notion promotes elitism and contributes to further [social] division. It's naïve to believe that only 'working class' people socialise and drink at pubs. Many of us consider the Village Inn as our living room, a place to meet and connect with others." 

Woollahra councillor Harriet Price is also against the development, stating on her Instagram page: "Whilst I love my fashion (especially in Paddington) – does the @intersectionpaddington really need another dress shop?"

More than 300 people turned up on Saturday at an event to show support for the pub. Even if you're not a Paddo local, the more people behind a campaign the better, so if you don’t want to see yet another Sydney pub closed down (RIP the Oxford Tavern, the Porterhouse, the Rose, Shamrock & Thistle, et al), get behind the campaign by signing the Save the Village Inn group petition as soon as possible (opposition to the pub’s closure needs to be lodged by 4.30pm on August 17). Even better, to file letters of opposition, email it to (quoting ref DA 243/2023).


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