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Pyrmont's iconic Terminus Hotel to re-open after 34 years

9News.com.au logo9News.com.au 26/02/2018 Mike Dalton

It is the Rip Van Winkle of Sydney pubs. 

More than three decades ago, after last drinks were declared, the lights switched on and off in the final flurry to hurry on those drinkers still draining their draughts, the doors of Pyrmont’s Terminus Hotel were locked and bolted. They would not reopen until today.

After more than 100 years of slaking the thirsts of working men in working class Darling Harbour, first as the Coopers Arms,then as Hotel Pleasanton, the Terminus Hotel was gamely dog paddling financially, as her clients began to slowly move away from the early 1980’s.

It was a time when the industry of Darling Harbour, the oil and sugar refineries, along with the wharfs and the rail yards, were being moved from centre of the city to other suburban sites.

This confluence of events saw the pub’s clientele dwindle, the Terminus now a bikie hang, coupled with an increased reliance on topless barmaids.

a car parked on the side of a building: The doors of the iconic Terminus Hotel in Pyrmont have reopened - more than three decades after they were closed. © Provided by Nine News

The doors of the iconic Terminus Hotel in Pyrmont have reopened - more than three decades after they were closed.

It would give up the ghost in 1984, when it was bought by reclusive property investors Isaac and Susan Wakil. The Wakils would lock the doors, and the Terminus would now act only as a squatters’ retreat, and an oversized train for the ivy that would wrap itself around her façade for the following three decades.

But two years ago, the Terminus would acquire a new owner, and over that time, gentle hands have massaged her back into shape.

The etched windows with their curled fonts have been saved, as have the pressed metal ceilings and the long front bar, built in the times of the six o’clock swill, when pub doors would shut at 6pm, and drinkers raced the clock to cram in as many beers as possible before closing. The longer bar helped facilitate the stream of drinkers, before the clock struck six.

And outside, the old Tooths and Reschs sign still have pride of place facing Harris street; the wild rug of ivy trimmed to a respectable short back and sides.

The Terminus now features an alfresco courtyard, a cocktail lounge, high end pub grub and boutique accommodation, along with its preserved front bar, and is expected to open in early March.

And throughout her slumber, the Terminus never lost her license to sell alcohol.

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