Bars and Nightclubs
Inner West, Sydney

Royal Hotel

370 Abercrombie St, Darlington
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The Royal Hotel is one of the significant remnant buildings within the inner Sydney Suburb of Darlington. Darlington was part of the area occupied by the cardigal band of Dharug aboriginal peoples who were substantially reduced in numbers in the smallpox epidemic of 1789.

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The Royal Hotel Review

Review by Mary Ward

The correlation that exists between uni students and bars is hardly one that you need an Advanced Mathematics degree to understand. University students have scarce money. Booze costs money. You want your booze to cost less money, so that university students will buy it, and still have some money left over for assorted merry japes. Enter, the Royal.

The Royal Hotel in Darlington is an uncomplicated (i.e. turn left and go straight) ten-minute walk from Redfern station, making it a popular choice with Usyd kids and locals alike. For students, it’s a warm and cosy haven away from campus; the perfect place to wind down after a long, hard day in the sandstone fort. For locals, well, it’s a place to whinge about the students.

The hotel is decorated simply, to set off its classic Victorian charm. There are plenty of tables and wicker chairs in the downstairs area. When you’re here, be sure to enjoy the – if I may reference Charlie Sheen - ‘biwinningly’ brilliant (read: not only delicious, but also cheap) food on offer. From $9 steaks to daily curry specials, the Royal caters for a variety of palettes. Best of all, it’s their house policy that they get your food to you in fifteen minutes; ‘triwinning!’

Drink prices are pretty reasonable and there are plenty of weekly specials like their ‘49% off’ Wednesday happy hour (7-8pm) which make the Royal an even more pocket-friendly night out. $9 student jugs are also a favourite. Moreover, they have a bottleshop - the ‘Bottle Dept.’ - so that you can feel free to takeaway. The atmosphere is really relaxed and friendly. It’s busy enough that there’s no chance that you will be sitting with your friend in an empty venue, but not so busy that you can’t maintain your conversation over everyone else’s.

Also, it’s promos galore at the Royal. On Thursdays, every cosmopolitan purchase comes with a free manicure (I’m presuming not on the spot). There are also plenty of fun things to do throughout the week, like Trivia Tuesdays.

The recently renovated upstairs area has a little more seating. Even though it is a favourite venue, with most tables taken up even midweek due to its proximity to the university, upstairs you can escape it all by filing into one of the little nooks and crannies about the place, complete with plush lounges and pool tables. Just be careful on your way up. The stairs are steep and narrow enough to warrant a single file, but two-way thoroughfare is often, somewhat dangerously, employed.

Upstairs can also be booked out for your next function, for the university student friendly price of… nothing! As a result, the venue is often used for the after-meeting drinks of university societies (note to students: join societies, they give you free booze.)

So, next time you are shivering your way to the station, or nursing your textbook induced scoliosis, be sure to pop into the Royal. It fulfils the three rules of university nightlife: cheap, friendly and, well, cheap. And that’s a marking criteria anyone can understand.

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