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New owner’s plan to bring inner Sydney hotel back to life

The only thing the locals will see that is missing when Sydney’s art deco Hollywood Hotel reopens will be the late former owner and her ukulele.

Brody Petersen, who beat a number of high profile pub operators to snap up the Surry Hills watering hole for $10 million, has vowed to keep the famous toasties on the menu and introduce live music at least three times a week.

The existing memorabilia collected over the years by Doris Goddard, who was a former Hollywood actress, will be kept and the myriad things that have been stored in the basement will be brought back to life.

New owner of the Hollywood Hotel in Surry Hills, Brody Petersen. He plans to keep its charm and character.

New owner of the Hollywood Hotel in Surry Hills, Brody Petersen. He plans to keep its charm and character.Credit:Nick Moir

Aside from Ms Goddard’s eclectic decor, the pub is famous as being the first one to be run by a woman and also the first to allow women to sit at the bar. Ms Goddard, who quit the lights of Hollywood to come home to Australia, bought the four-storey property for $175,000 in 1977.

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Mr Petersen got the keys on Tuesday and said he wants to get the “old girl’ open as soon as possible. The basement needs a good clean, some beer taps may need replacing and the wiring needs a “good going over”, he said.

The small television in the corner will stay, but the 10 poker machines will be taken away.

“We see it as a traditional boozer where you go and you sit with your friends and you have a couple of drinks and as long as there’s some snacks on offer and we will keep the manager Mark’s [Symons] famous toasted sandwiches, and a good wine list, patrons will be happy,” he said.

“We’ll have a big focus on live music … this venue has had some great musicians in it over the past 40 years.”

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