Marrickville had the longest bar in NSW….
The Hotel Marrickville in Sydney’s inner-west reportedly had the longest public bar in NSW during the 1940s. This long-gone pub is not to be confused with the current Marrickville Hotel located at 244 Marrickville Road, which is relatively new, and opened in 2017.
The original Hotel Marrickville was located at the corner of Illawarra Street and Marrickville Road. Three pubs traded from the site, before – after a century – its sad closure in 1984.
Before we get to the original, let’s take a brief look at the short history of the current Marrickville Hotel. The small shop like pub opened in November 2017, after Brandon Lynch was granted approval by the NSW Liquor and Gaming Authority to remove the historic license of the nearby Town and Country Hotel at 2 Unwins Bridge Road, St Peters, to 220 Marrickville Road, Marrickville.
The Town and Country Hotel was made famous in the Slim Dusty song, Duncan (See Time Gents’ story HERE). The license removal sparked a legal tussle between the lease holder of the Town and Country and its owner, who had the license removed. Thankfully, the Town and Country has since reopened with a new license.
The original Hotel Marrickville at the corner of Illawarra Street and Marrickville Road was established by George Smith as the Victoria Hotel in 1884.
The pub was purchased by brewery giant, Tooth & Company in July 1897, who had it rebuilt into a grand two-storey corner pub with balcony the same year.
Tooth and Company again rebuilt the pub in 1939 and re-badged its new art-deco watering hole as ‘The Hotel Marrickville’.
The public bar was 170 feet (52 metres) long – a total of 230 feet (70 metres) altogether in the public bar, and 390 feet (119 metres) through the entire hotel. This at the time was said to have given the pub the title of the longest bar in NSW.
One of the last publicans of the Hotel Marrickville was Bruce Armstrong, who had the license from 1974 to 1981. The last licensee was Neil Mulvay.
Tooths sold the pub to a group of local businessmen for $102 million, and it closed for business on November 27 1984.
The building survives to this day, however, sadly no longer as a pub.
* First published March 2019. Story updated 2021
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