Following a fire that saw Sydenham’s The General Gordon Hotel lie dormant for nearly three years, the pub reopened its doors last month with a strong female duo at the helm, apt for a pub that once had one of Sydney’s first female licensees, Bridget Smith.
With 25 years in the hospitality industry, current hotel licensee Sarah Lewis said: “This building has had such a checkered and rich history, so we’ve worked hard to acknowledge this through subtle nods to its remarkable journey. Both the front and back bars feature charred wood in memory of the 2018 fire and the original heritage façade has been refreshed and revived to its former glory.”
The iconic Sydenham pub takes its name from the renowned military hero General Charles George Gordon who was recognised for his personal bravery and service to the British Empire around the world and his work for the poor in Britain.
Designed by AVA Architects to have several distinct spaces, the alfresco courtyard is a focal area within the newly renovated pub, encompassing a sculptural pergola layered with lush greenery.
Meanwhile, the bright and welcoming style bistro area, full of eclectic furniture and styling ideal for casual dining, is connected to the modern sports bar which echoes the old-style public bar with its Terrazzo floor tiles and historic memorabilia covering the timber walls.
When it comes to the kitchen, head chef Kirsten Baker knows her way around a pub kitchen after 25 years with venues like Vic on The Park under her belt. Her menu is an array of pub classics with a focus on bringing local produce to the forefront.
“The General’s Oven”, a central woodfired feature of the kitchen sees a full repertoire of pizzas and dishes such as the 12- hour beef short rib mushroom and shallot spaetzle, grilled asparagus, parmesan crumb and Wood-roasted pumpkin maple and lime quinoa, green beans, coconut flakes, almonds, black beans, broccoli, beetroot jam.
JDA Hotels, owned and operated by the publican Feros family (not associated with the Feros Group), is behind the newly renovated pub and brings a 50-year legacy in the hospitality industry. The group currently owns nine venues including the iconic and multi-award winning, The Mill Hotel in Southwest Sydney.
JDA Hotel’s CEO John Feros said: “It’s been a tough road for the pub. The devastation from the fire combined with the lengthy renovation has been a challenge for our team and the local community. The re-opening signifies a fresh and positive start for The General Gordon, and one that JDA Hotels is incredibly honoured to be behind given the pub’s rich history and iconic standpoint within the community. Welcoming back both new and loyal patrons will be another poignant milestone for The General Gordon, and we cannot wait to get that first schooner poured!”