UPDATE 10/11/16: Sydney’s Hopetoun Hotel hasn’t been sold and isn’t reopening, say its current owners.
UPDATE 9/11/16: Speaking to Music Feeds Adrian Bull has confirmed that he has indeed purchased the Hopetoun Hotel, and is working within a time frame of just under a year with a goal to reopen around October 2017.
“After many years of walking past a boarded up place that held so many memories for me – I just couldn’t let it happen any longer,” says Bull.
It’ll be a long slog to get everything fixed up as well. “The building needs a lot of work,” admits Bull, before outlining that extensive renovations will take place especially in the downstairs area.
“Upstairs is fine,” Bull says. “The downstairs bar, that will go. The room will get made over, there will be more soundproofing than was there before.”
ORIGINAL STORY: It appears that legendary Surry Hills pub the Hopetoun Hotel has been purchased, with the new owner planning to reopen the venue for live music.
Sydney band Willing Ponies tweeted yesterday that Adrian Bull of Blind Records has secured the venue, and the speculation was confirmed by bull himself in a series of Facebook comments yesterday evening.
As The Brag points out, after a series of users thanked Bull for the purchase, he responded, “The only thanks I need is you showing up at the bar!”
The Hopetoun Hotel closed its doors amid protests in 2009, but in its heyday was a go-to venue for rising Sydney musicians, hosting concerts for a large number of Aussie artists in their formative years, including the likes of Darren Hanlon and Paul Kelly.
When the Hopetoun closed, singer-songwriter Sarah Blasko told Fairfax Media, “It was one of the only places you could get a gig when you first started playing. It’s so intimate, you almost feel like you could order a drink from the stage.”
Since the closure of the Hopetoun in 2009, a slew of other live music venues in Sydney have also shut down, but a report from the NSW Government’s heritage division recommended in 2012 that the Hopetoun should be retained and conserved, having existed for 150 years and hosting bands continuously for 20 years.