A Tuesday ritual is to flick through the SMH’s Good Food lift out and see which restaurants and bars are reviewed. I particularly seek out where Callan Boys has visited. My heart leapt this particular Tuesday morning as Mr Boys revealed that the Palisade Hotel is open again.
Since 2008, The Palisade has tragically been closed. No longer. Unlike Mr Boys, I drank many a time at the Palisade and the place holds 3 decades of memories for me. It’ll no doubt provide plenty of memories for the new generation of Palisade patrons, but boy it is different.
It was inevitable that the stairs to the toilets had to change. Whereas abseiling gear was required and you had to mind your head in the old days, it’s now a far gentler incline. The treacherous trip to the Palisade slasher can now only ever be a (scary) memory.
During the 80s and 90s a number of Sydney pubs were brassed and glassed to their detriment. Throughout this era, the Palisade remained true to the old school look. Even though the white table cloths were introduced upstairs in the 2000s the downstairs bar was resolutely trend resistant. I can report that whilst an old style look has been implemented, it ain’t the original – but it ain’t brass and glass either. It’s a beautiful fit out.
The Pailsade was a wonderful pub in the day. Even though it was a 5 iron from the Lord Nelson, people failed to turn their heads left and see it. That meant it was never totally packed. There was nothing better than a beer in the afternoon sun on the pavement after a massive feed at the China above the Captain Cook. For my uni crowd it provided the full stop to an epic evening of pub crawling. A couple of the guys woke up in the gardens of the church nearby after the Palisade finished ’em off. There was never a bad night there.
The new Palisade keeps the view. There’s a new Bangaroo view in the offing as well. This is a cocktail bar in the main. Beer list is functional without striving for differentiation. The food menu is tight with the standout being the pie. People were hoeing into the toasted sangas as well. The pot of pate had a little too much jelly for mine and like every restaurant in the world, in sufficient toast was provided with the pate.
It is great to see the Palisade reopen. They’ll be opening the first floor soon, which will have an emphasis on cocktails. Even more exciting is the promise of a rooftop bar. Can’t wait. There’ll be no better place to look at the coathanger. Welcome back.