Alemais’ plan to sell clothes provokes resistance from the residents

The pub building is a Grade I listed building and is in the Paddington Heritage Conservation Area. But as part of his plan to convert the pub into a fashion shop, Alemais wants to remove “the infrastructure associated with the pub, including bars, beer pumps, etc.”

Pub owners in Paddington have been at odds over the City Council’s plan to have their hotels listed, and owners questioned whether this imposes “unworkable compliance” on future renovations and developments.

The Inner West Council has also sought to protect the area’s pub culture and limit potential redevelopment by granting monument status to dozens of hotels.

Paddington residents fought successfully in 2018 to keep the Four in Hand Hotel from being converted into a residential building. During the fight to save the hotel, the council urged the New South Wales government to consider legislative changes to better protect pubs, but then Culture Secretary Gabrielle Upton refused.

But the prosecutor points to more pub conversions in Paddington – the Albury Hotel has been converted into retail outlets, while the Windsor Castle Hotel has been converted into a residential property which sold for more than $11 million in 2020.


Paddington resident Sinead Vidler grew up near the pub, called herself ‘Rose and Crown’ at the time, and recalled her father and a pal going there before the family’s Sunday roast.

“They would bring us home a pack of Smiths chips before dinner, which was a highlight for us kids,” she said.

Vidler frequented the pub when it was called Durty Nelly’s after the Paddington Green Hotel in Oxford was converted into apartments.

“We knew all of our friends would be there, so we didn’t even call or text each other to make a plan. We just knew that someone we knew would be there,” she said.


Vidler said the Village Inn is a quaint pub “that reflects our working-class history,” had no slot machines, and “served a good chicken schnitzel.”

“Pubs are communal spaces in a way fashion retailers can’t be,” she said. “I also believe that we should not build any more retail space until all retail outlets in Paddington are occupied.”

Price said a local planning committee will likely select prosecutors given the number of objections.

“I contend that the change of use and the proposed alterations will have an unacceptable impact on the heritage importance of the pub,” she said.

A council spokesman declined to comment on the DA while it was on public display, but said the council had not received any noise complaints about The Village Inn and there had been no violations of regulations in the past 12 months.

Last year, property developer Theo Onisforou, who owns several properties in Paddington, planned to buy the pub and convert it into retail outlets, but changed his mind after contacting council and “realizing they were so strongly opposed to the proposal”.

The Village Inn was later sold to Alemais by Brody Petersen for approximately $8 million.

Onisforou questioned whether the fashion brand was a worthwhile addition to the shopping district, noting that “originality in fashion is important”.

“For my part, I don’t want them there because they’re so similar to our existing tenant, Zimmerman,” he said.

Onisforou said a pub would be feasible on the site if the owners lowered the rental rate: “In my opinion it would be very viable and profitable if they just rented the pub on one level and then rented it out on the top floor, and the pub would do that too. easy to rent out.”

Justin Scaccy

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