The Harold Park Hotel was built in 1888 and opened as the ‘Centennial Hotel’, before changing its name to the ‘Lillie Bridge Hotel’ in 1903, because of the Lillie Bridge carnival grounds opposite on the site of the old race track, formerly known as Forest Lodge.
The Lillie Bridge grounds, owned and operated by Sir James Joynton Smith were home to the ‘underbelly of the time’ and boasted colourful identities among the side shows, prize fights, professional foot races and greyhound racing.
Australia’s first mechanical hare was used at Harold Park in 1927, and all Sydney greyhound racing was held here until Wentworth Park became home to dishlickers in 1939. The grounds were leased, and then sold, to the NSW Trotting Club in 1911 and renamed Harold Park in 1929. The original hotel, a magnificent three-story structure, was destroyed in fire in 1959.
During the 1960’s and 70’s, the hotel was known as a place where one could be heard; Politics in the Pub, Poets in the Pub were regular events. It was Sydney’s Home of Comedy for most of the 80’s and 90’s. Extensive renovations were undertaken early this century, and the current building reopened in 2007.
2010 saw it celebrate its 122nd birthday and being purchased by Australia’s first fifth Generation hotel keeper, William Ryan. He has worked in and owned hotels extensively all over Australia as well as the UK and USA with over 30 years experience.
The Ryan family has owned and operated over 30 hotels in Sydney with William working in most at some time, including the Steyne, Mona Vale and Newport Arms on the North Shore, Tea Gardens, Wynyard, Hampton Court in the East, Sylvania and Brighton in the South, Hume and Family out West, and Bat and Ball, Brittania and Cauliflower, around this part of the world. Ryan, coming off five years at the iconic Cauliflower Hotel, is here to put the hospitality back into the Harold Park.
His motto: Great food and beverages, family friendly, community focused. He lives locally, in Chippendale, is a JP, wine judge and keen judge of horse flesh. His two sons are already well on the way to becoming sixth generation hoteliers.
|Type of Functions:||We have held everything from 21st, Wedding Receptions, Wake’s, Fundraising Events,
Wake’s, Christmas Parties, Anything you want! (besides 18th’s)
|Licensed/BYO:||Fully Licensed/No BYO
||In House Catering Only
|Parking:||Street Parking Only
|Function Hours:||Monday: 10 am - 11 pm
Tuesday to Friday: 10 am – 12 am
Sunday: 10 am – 10 pm
|Facebook Page:|| Visit Facebook Page
|Technical Facilities:||Projector screen available, Microphones with stands available, own music via iPod available, Bands or DJ’s can play, Top notch AV and PA system in place.|
|Function Room||Cocktail||General Facilities|
|Deck Bar||80||Convertible Roof|
|Dash Bar||200||Private Bathrooms, Bar and Balcony|