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Illinois Hotel

Home > Sydney > Pubs | Hotels | Food Trucks | Burgers | Bars
by Richard Ramnac (subscribe)
I simply enjoy discovering and writing about places in and around Sydney. Instagram: @richrammo Twitter: @richramo
Published April 1st 2021
The entertainment venue the Inner West has been missing
When I was younger, I always thought pubs were places where workers would go drinking after they had finished for the day, usually inclosed, musty establishments with soggy carpet smelling of beer.

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Illinois Hotel - Reopened after renovations

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.

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Outdoor screens

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Beer garden seating

Outdoor, beer, garden, screens, pub
Outdoor seating and beer garden

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.

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Fat Belly Jack - Food Truck

Burger, fries, blue cheese sauce
Le Fancy Smash Burger w/ Fries & Blue Cheese Sauce

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.

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Large widescreens televising sporting events

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Bar and beers on tap

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Other side of the bar

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Cocktails on tap

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.

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Lounge area

lounge, seating, indoor, hotel, bar, drinks, social
Booth seating

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Illinois Hotel flamingo sign

Further renovations are planned, with upstairs VIP rooms expected to be opened in several months and an expansion of the beer garden and eating areas. There is more to come.
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Why? Great Inner West entertainment and social venue
When: Mon - Sat, 10am to 3am, Sun 10am - 12am
Phone: (02) 9797 9550
Where: 15 Parramatta Rd, Five Dock NSW 2046
Cost: Varies
Your Comment
In my younger days my opinion of pubs were the same as yours Richard. Even into my dirties I wouldn't go into one. But today they are a great venue for great food in comfortable surroundings.
by Neil Follett (score: 3|2133) 17 days ago
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