The Old Clare Hotel rests on a parcel of land that is rich in history, its earliest recorded inhabitants being the Eora people. The area known today as Chippendale, a place of creativity, cafés, where modern architecture meets buzzing city life has been through quite the highs and lows.
A history full of pig ladies, rat catchers, booze, crime gradually transformed into an industrial hub in the early 19th century. Major George Druitt, who was granted the land wherein the Old Clare now stands, sold in 1834 a large portion of it to John Tooth, who established the Kent Brewery. His namesake ‘Tooth’s Beer’ produced dozens of iconic pub posters that still adorn the art deco pubs in Sydney today.
In 1939, after several expansions and subsequent incarnations of the corner site (nothing mischievous), Margaret Moloney bought the site and hired appraised Architect Sidney Warden to design a new hotel in the “Inter-war Functionalist style”. Margaret named her new establishment after her birthplace in County Clare, Ireland. The Clare Hotel was born.
True to its heritage, the pub was a huge success and was pouring beer for locals, in its grungy but incredibly warm spot. This beloved, unpretentious watering hole stood the test of time. Its attitude never left the area which was getting increasingly popular and heading towards a little makeover.
Fast forward to 2015, Loh Lik Peng took the site over as part of a major rejuvenation project in Chippendale. Up until that point, the area was known for being grungy and a little bit dangerous. The project, led by TZG architects, sought to leave as many of the heritage features intact, without creating ‘fake’ heritage, leading to the result that can be seen today: an eclectic mixture of features and eras that intentionally coexist to create an architectural post-modern narrative.
In 2019, the building underwent further renovations with the addition of seven new rooms. These new rooms, inspired by the original Art Deco curves of the building, add a softer aesthetic to the mix. True to the functionalist style, form follows function, and The Old Clare is before anything else, a space for people to share moments, have a few pints, relax and enjoy.