Whispers – 215

Local gossip, rumour, hearsay and unsubstantiated fact...

New look Royal Hotel, money matters at the Forum and mud-slinging

The Royal Hotel on Norton Street is one of those pubs destined for gentrification. Known for its bad karaoke and equally poor food, locals have welcomed new owners, W. Short Hotel Group – set to give the pub a makeover. The group own backpacker paradise Scubar and the Glenmore Hotel in the Rocks. Renovations are due to be completed in August.

The Italian Forum has again attracted the wrong kind of attention, with the Italian Forum Cultural Centre being criticised for its charge out rates (on last check it was about $600 to hire the venue). A letter has been written to Deputy PM Anthony Albanese to request some much needed funding, without which the centre may not make it through August. The tragedy of this ongoing saga is that the venue is delightful, but someone needs to come up with a good business model to make it work.

• Speaking of the Forum, when will the Sydney Style Markets be returning? The next market date is yet to be announced and we haven’t seen a stall in weeks.

The election is coming and the mud-slinging has begun. Someone has issued a flyer titled “The Truth about Craig Laundy,” stating that the Liberal candidate for Reid made his money from gambling. The flyer is endorsed by Labor Party general-secretary Sam Dastyari. Laundy’s family sold half of its pub business to Woolworths last year for $400 million.

Planning alert: an application has been lodged to turn part of the Annandale Hotel into a mixed use facility with retail and commercial space, and a 24 room boarding house.

Ocean Foods has applied to have its boundaries changed. The popular fish shop owns its little corner in Drummoyne, which was once earmarked to be modified should there have been a widening of Lyons Road.

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