General Gordon Hotel reopens in Sydenham after fire

The pain-staking renovation included tiles that were reproduced from the originals.
The pain-staking renovation included tiles that were reproduced from the originals. Photo: Milad Khatib

The Sydenham pub nearly levelled by a fire in 2018 finally reopened on the weekend, with its rebirth as a gastro pub carrying on a strong feminine lineage.

The General Gordon Hotel might have received its name from the military leader at the Siege of Khartoum, but it shone bright and early for women as home to one of Sydney's first female licensees, Bridget Smyth.

The hotel's current licensee, Sarah Lewis, has lured head chef Kirsten Baker from Vic on the Park, and the menu promises 12-hour beef short rib, an inner-west friendly vegan chickpea and sweet potato dish with spinach, fire-roasted capsicum and smoked avocado.

The hotel is pitching for a classic neighbourhood pub target market: everyone.
The hotel is pitching for a classic neighbourhood pub target market: everyone. Photo: Milad Khatib

The hotel is pitching for a classic neighbourhood pub target market: everyone. "Dad might be in the front bar, his daughter turns up later, three generations in one day," Lewis says. 

The painstaking renovation included sending some rescued tiles from the fire to England to be made in the same way as the originals.

And Lewis believes the women-in-pubs push continues to gain traction. "There's been a real push, particularly in brewing, there's a bit of a movement in Sydney." Including Sydenham.

Open Mon-Sat 10am-3am; Sun 10am-midnight.

20 Swain Street, Sydenham, generalgordonhotel.com.au