Time Gents visited the Maroubra Bay Hotel, in the eastern suburbs of Sydney today, and were not disappointed.
The iconic beachside pub has undergone many transformations over its 92 years of trade.
Opened for business in October 1926, its first owner and host, retired army officer and publican of the nearby Doncaster Hotel at Kensington, George Hammond, first began a push to build a grand beachside hotel at Maroubra in 1923.
Hammond encountered much opposition, despite the area becoming popular with visitors and tourists. He eventually won his battle, and was granted a conditional license for a three storey brick hotel with 26 rooms on the corner of McKeon Street and Marine Parade in September 1925. Work started immediately, and by the following year the Maroubra Bay Hotel was doing a roaring trade.
The interior of the pub has been altered beyond recognition from when it opened, with a major redevelopment in recent years gutting the old girl of her early 20th century charm. Today only her original facade remains. She’s a modern hotel, with the face from another time.
There’s the must-have “sports bar”, with plenty of big screen action, and of course the ubiquitously coded ‘Very Important Pokies’ Lounge, with its gambling machines.
With more a focus on eating, rather then a drinkery, the Bay, as she’s known locally, has held onto her pub atmosphere. There continues to be that feel that the Bay is a place where you can relax over your favourite brew, chatting with mates, watching the passing parade from its front veranda.
There was a good selection of beer on tap (I had a Reschs), and the pub was doing a brisk trade, with both diners, and a few tradies keeping the staff busy. Although, if I lived nearby, I probably wouldn’t be comfortable calling this old Lady my local. But that’s not a criticism, it’s just my preference for a more traditional Australian pub setting. Give the Bay a try, it may suit you to the ground.