Jacksons on George St was formerly known for its sticky floors, pub grub and as the site of many Aussies’ first drunken kiss, but after a five-year closure and multimillion-dollar renovation, the iconic haunt has finally revealed its new look.
The three-storey, hyper-modern venue reopened on Monday in the Sydney Place development in Circular Quay.
Its three levels — Bistro George, Public Bar and the Rooftop — offer something for everyone, the pub said.
Jacksons’ creative director, Maurice Terzini, who founded Bondi’s glam Icebergs Dining Room, said he wanted the new venue to be “inclusive”.
“I know what people will say: ‘What a bunch of yuppies’,” he joked.
“But I don’t think traditional Australian pubs were always as egalitarian as they made out they were. We want Jacksons to be inclusive of everyone. We want it to be a modern-day public bar where a tradie is next to a politician.”
Mr Terzini said his team “really looked at Euro hotels and bistros for inspiration”.
“There’s art, food and music in the one venue. I don’t think there’s a more urban Sydney rooftop in the city. It’s in this incredible architectural canyon. It’s going to be all about the sunsets,” he said.
Patrons of the pre-renovation Jacksons reminisced on the venue fondly when its reopening was announced.
“I had my first pash at Jacksons on George about 1000 years ago,” one woman recalled.
“Will the floor still be sticky?” joked another.
“Jacksons on George! What a blast from the past!” added a third.
But head chef Steven Sinclair, who previously worked at the UK’s three-Michelin starred restaurant, L’Enclume, said the venue will still serve up pub classics.
“The ethos at Bistro George is all about recognisable bistro classics, elegantly executed with quality ingredients,” he said.
“Everything on the Public Bar and Rooftop menu is designed to be accessible and familiar.
“Think pub and bistro classics, elevated with the best produce and on-point service, regardless of what dish you order and where you dine.”