Bars and Nightclubs
Sydney East, Sydney

East Village Hotel

234 Palmer St, Darlinghurst, NSW
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Tucked back behind the hustle and bustle of Oxford Street, The East Village is a hotel steeped in Sydney's history and modern day culture. The East Village Hotel began her life as a favourite haunt for Sydney underworld crime, playing host to Australian crime legend, Tilly Devine and was a centre piece to working class Sydney. Now The East Village Hotel plays host to Sydney-siders who want somewhere to come and enjoy fine food, fine wines and a whole host of great events and entertainment. Having survived the poker machine and chrome age intact, the Village Hotel is a beautiful iconic c.1918 building which boasts three levels of well appointed traditionally-styled comfortable, warm and sunny bars below what is arguably the best rooftop terrace in Sydney.

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Former Glory (Level 3 of the East Village Hotel) Review

Review By Kelly Teng

It's Sydney circa the 1920s. Swing music plays over the speakers, and as we walk up the stairs we are greeted with a candlelit room and beautifully arranged tables. Suddenly, as the music goes quiet, Tilly Devine's presence fills the room, and we're once again transported to a time when sly-grog and organized crime reign supreme.

Welcome to The Former Glory, a pop-up bar on level three of the The East Village Hotel, Darlinghurst.

The Former Glory is an ode to the past and a bridge to the future: with the Rooftop Terrace scheduled to open in a few months time, this pop-up bar is the perfect way to pay homage to the venue's history while preparing Sydneysiders for a new era of the Village Hotel. Running for ten weeks from the October 13, this bar is the perfect place to sip on a Dutch pepper martini, sink into a Chesterfield sofa, and return to an era where the East Village Hotel was known as the Tradesman's Arms Hotel: a hangout for Sydney's criminal elite.

Back then, the venue was known as the "Bloodhouse" and was home to many infamous razor gang wars and violent crime. Tilly Devine, an infamous Sydney madam and gang syndicate figure, and her call girls often frequented the venue in a bid for more customers. Devine's brothel was just a stone's throw away at 253 Liverpool St, and the girls often solicited men at the establishment before taking them back to the brothel.

Now, The Former Glory provides its patrons with a twenties atmosphere, but upgrades the experience to very modern, and very chic. For all you fans of Underbelly, I regret to inform you there are no hidden razorblades or gang wars; instead, the décor exudes a subtle romanticism while tinged with elements of the venue's loaded history - including a painting of a naked woman playing cards on the bathroom wall. Candlelight is the key source of lighting here, and it provides this level with an intimate feel that is perfect for a date with that special someone, or for a cosy gathering with friends.

And speaking of friends, they'll love the great selection of food and drink that The Former Glory provides. The food ranges from around $8-16, and includes inventive dishes like The Tradesman: a combination of underground mutton rillettes, cheese, pickles, and bread. Wash this down with a $17 cocktail - I recommend the bar's namesake, The Former Glory: a mix of averna, sweet vermouth, bitters, lemon juice, pineapple, and egg white - and you'll most certainly feel like Sydney of old has been revived once again.

The Former Glory is open for ten weeks from the beginning of October. Whether you know the back streets of Sydney like the back of your hand, or are simply a visitor to the city, you owe it to Tilly Devine and her cronies to pay a visit to Level Three, The East Village Hotel, Darlinghurst.

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