One of the country’s oldest pubs, The Royal Richmond Hotel has undergone an incredible transformation, officially opening a new gastro pub bistro and cocktail bar after an extensive renovation.
The much-anticipated unveiling marks the completion of the first phase of major works to the 170-year-old pub in Sydney’s north-west at the foot of the Blue Mountains, led by Peter Wynne and Karen Anderson, previous owners of Martin Place Bar in Sydney’s CBD.
The highlight is The Royal Richmond Hotel’s new sunlit bistro with glass atrium-style roof, original Oregon timber beams, American Oak parquetry flooring, recycled brick walls, banquette seating and oversized family-style dining tables made from Elm and locally reclaimed timbers.
The bistro’s large open kitchen is led by General Manager Todd Garratt (Fish Butchery, Balcon by Tapavino, Buzo, Wine Library) and delivers an all-day menu celebrating the abundance of local produce from the Hawkesbury region.
Small-scale local farmers, fishermen, producers and distillers are featured prominently on the menu, such as figs from Bilpin Blossom Farm, gin from Karu Distillery in Grose Vale, vegetables from Block 11 Organics on the banks of the Hawkesbury in Richmond, school prawns from Gary Howard in Lower Portland, and bread from Colo River Bakery.
The Royal Richmond Hotel is also producing charcuterie in-house, and carefully sourcing a selection of pasture- and grain-fed meats for the bistro’s dry-aging cabinets, with a particular focus on collaborating with the Western Sydney University’s Hawkesbury Campus farm management program.
Adjacent to the bistro is the new cocktail bar with its deep green walls, timber-clad fireplaces, brass light fittings, striking rich tartan carpet, heritage wood panelled bar with stunning brass bottle display and window seating overlooking Richmond Park.
Throughout both spaces, the walls are adorned with framed archival images of the pub over its many years, along with historic photos sharing stories and memories from the local community of Richmond, one of Australia’s oldest towns.
Working with Berry-based interior designer Victoria Hampshire and Sydney-based architect David Herron of Axil Architects, the renovation included a refurbishment to the pub’s original cosy sports bar established in 1848. Stage two renovations to be completed in 2022 will see the outdoor marquee area transformed into an all-weather beer garden that will become the hub of the venue’s music and entertainment program.
Since purchasing the pub, Peter and Karen have focused on celebrating the history and community spirit of the Hawkesbury, offering a dining and drinking experience which locals are proud of and visitors will travel for.
“The Royal Richmond Hotel has played an incredibly important role in the community and history of Richmond, and Sydney more broadly, for more than 170 years – as one of the oldest continuously operating pubs in the country,” said publican Peter Wynne.
“The pub is loved by the locals and has a rich and colourful history. We’re thrilled to be able to continue this tradition, while creating something special for locals to enjoy – whether it’s a quiet bite and casual beer or a special occasion celebration.”
The Royal Richmond Hotel is located on the main street of historic Richmond town, flanked by charming circa 1800s houses and boutiques, directly across from Richmond Park with its heritage-listed cricket stand.
The newly transformed pub is an easy 50-minute drive from Sydney’s CBD and a two-minute walk from heritage-listed Richmond Train Station, making it an ideal option for a memorable day-trip, lunch outing, or pitstop on the way to or from the Blue Mountains or broader Hawkesbury region.
The Royal Richmond Hotel is open 10am to 3am Monday to Saturday, and until midnight on Sunday, while the kitchen is open 11am until late every day.