The ArtHouse Hotel
May 11, 2018
With bucketloads of history and a prime position in Sydney’s central business district, Arthouse is one of Sydney’s most enduringly popular watering holes. Knocked up in 1836, the heritage-listed building was originally Sydney’s School of Arts, and later served as a theatre, a library and a chapel before being redeveloped as a bar. As its name implies, the arts still play an integral role in the running of the venue doubling as a gallery, ArtHouse hosts a few dozen exhibitions every year, and regularly stages creative arts events such as life drawing, burlesque and cabaret variety nights and photography workshops. A huge venue, ArtHouse is actually comprised of three bars and a restaurant/bar like many Australian bars that call themselves a hotel, there is no overnight lodging available. Take your pick from the high-ceiling main bar Verge; the cosy Gallery with its funky seating and artwork; the Attic, an intimate space that used to be a smokers room; and the Dome Restaurant and Bar, which also acts as the gallery space. While guests must observe a dress code (no flip flops, singlets/shorts, hats, tracksuits or protective/safety clothing) ArtHouse is not an exclusive hangout during weekday lunch hours, Verge swells with city workers who come to tuck into the gastro-pub fare, and on Friday and Saturday nights the main bar area morphs into a popular nightclub. The modern Australian menu at Dome Restaurant is a little more high-end, with a wine list to match. But if you’re hanging for a cocktail, head upstairs to the Dome Bar to try an arty concoction like Van Gough’s muse (Hendrick’s gin, Parfait Amore, Pomme Verte, pear puree and Absinthe, topped with sours soda and a cucumber).