There’s been a pub trading at the corner of Hay and Dixon Streets in Sydney’s Haymarket for well over 150 years.
Way before the Covent Gardens Hotel was established on the site, a pub by the name of the Miller’s Arms traded from the corner from at least 1871. By the mid-1870s the sign had changed to the Engineers’ Hotel.
As the City Markets were moving into the area, the corner pub was re-named in 1910 and became the Covent Garden Hotel.
A BURIED FENCE.
The old Covent Gardens Hotel, at the corner of Dixon and Hay-streets, Sydney, is being rebuilt. Yesterday the workmen engaged in digging the foundations came across an old three-railed open fence, at a distance of nine feet below the present level of the footpath. When removed the fence was found to be in a splendid state of preservation, notwithstanding that it is fully 70 years since it was buried out of sight. The timber was either ironbark or stringy bark, and it is without doubt as good as the day it was cut from the tree.
– The Farmer and Settler (Sydney) Friday 16 February 1912
The hotel and adjacent terraces were demolished by Sydney City Council as part of land resumptions for the market development in 1912 and replaced with the current building. Between 1910 and 1922 the site, east of the Covent Garden Hotel, sat vacant.
The Covent Garden Hotel licensee was leaseholder of the vacant land from Sydney City Council. In 1922, a three-storey infill extension to the Covent Garden Hotel was completed. This extension comprised two shops divided by a central passage on the ground floor and a dining area and kitchen on the first floor. On the second floor, seven bedrooms connected to the adjoining hotel’s bedroom level.
From the 1950s, Chinese restaurants operated on the first floor of the hotel. The Tai Yuen Restaurant was one of Sydney’s oldest, largest and most popular.
– History adapted from coventgardenhotel.com.au
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