New team breathes life into the Old Fitzroy

21 January, 2021 by Vanessa Cavasinni

Odd Culture Group have revealed the details of their new lease of the Old Fitzroy Hotel in Sydney’s Woolloomooloo, including a high-profile appointment.

Odd Culture Group today announced that it would officially be taking on the operations of the Old Fitzroy Hotel – Australia’s only operating theatre pub – from 18 February, under new freehold owners Michael and Prue Williams of W Property. The group is excited to breathe new life into the venue.

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In a real coup for Odd Culture Group, Anna Ugarte-Carral, winner of the 2020 Josephine Pignolet Young Chef Award, and second-place holder in the 2020 Appetite for Excellence, will be taking the reins as the new Head Chef. Having previously plied her trade in Sydney at Firedoor, Hubert, and Momofuku Seiōbo, as well as completing stages at Noma and Relae in Copenhagen, and Lyle’s in London, she has most recently been a leading force of the monthly dining, art and music experience at Ten Hats Bistro.

“I feel honoured to have the opportunity to contribute to the long and vibrant history of The Old Fitz. I love pubs, and we all missed them a lot during the pandemic, so I’m particularly excited about being able to cook food that is accessible to everyone after such a rough past year,” stated Ugarte-Carral.

“In terms of the menu, I’ll jump around the Mediterranean for inspiration. I’m keen to explore simple yet precise cooking. It’s going to be a celebration, cooking that makes people happy.”

Odd Culture Group will also be collaborating closely with the operators of Old Fitz Theatre, Red Line Productions. This will be the first time that the theatre and pub have operated so closely, with a focus on not only supporting and highlighting each other, but truly intertwining both experiences for patrons and theatre-goers alike.

“As a group, we are fervent supporters of the performing arts industry in Sydney. The Old Fitz Theatre is the only still-operating ‘theatre pub’ left in Australia, so it’s really important to us that we honour this icon in a fitting way,’ stated Odd Culture Group director James Thorpe.

“The Red Line Productions team are an incredible group of people, and while I can’t give too many specific details away, we are genuinely excited to put forward a truly unique proposition for our guests. We are eternally thankful to Michael and Prue Williams for engaging us to be a part of this new exciting chapter in the pub’s history.”

The Old Fitzroy Hotel has been closed for almost a year due to the pandemic, but will reopen from 6pm on Thursday 18 February.