So when I heard that the Illinois Hotel, which was known as being a 'Gentleman's Club, had finished being renovated, advertised as being family-friendly, with a fresh new look. I was immediately interested and organised to visit on a Sunday afternoon with my mates to see what was on offer.
Located on busy Parramatta Road in Five Dock, the hotel had received a fresh coat of paint to provide a new modernised look. The Arlington Road entrance takes you straight through to the new open beer garden, which comfortably seats up to 72 people, where multiple outdoor screens show the days most popular sporting events.
Also situated outdoors is 'Fat Belly Jack', a food truck specialising in Nashville Chicken, serving up various burgers and bar snacks. When ordering burgers, you can choose your level of 'Heat', having eaten the hottest, let me warn you, it is not for the faint-hearted.
Once inside the building itself, I was drawn to the seats directly in front of the big screens, also televising sporting events. The bar had an extensive collection of spirits while also boasting 42 beers on tap, 23 of which are unique. It was also great to see 2 cocktails on tap, which you don't see as often.
The venue seats up to 240, with a mix of outdoor and indoor seating, including booths and a lounge area, with an extensive collection of drinks and delicious food. The new owners delivered in providing a family-friendly atmosphere where children are welcome. The Illinois Hotel is the entertainment venue that the local area had been missing for years. I'll be a regular for sure.