The Hopetoun Is NOT Reopening
A saga featuring Kylie Kwong, Nicolas Cage and Hugh Jackman.
The Hopetoun Hotel closed in September 2009 amid a sea of rumours. The media at the time blamed an alleged split between the owners, the owners blamed council-ordered renovations, and the council washed their hands of the whole affair, suggesting the closure might have something to do with the police fining the pub $3000 in one week for not having enough security guards. Whatever the reason (or combination of reasons), the fallout was spectacular — staff were left jobless, pre-booked bands had nowhere to play, the owners of the Mexican restaurant upstairs couldn't get in to retrieve their perishables, and half of Surry Hills had to find somewhere else to drink their Coopers Pale. So the bereaved did what anyone else would — they turned to social media, creating a 'Save the Hopetoun Hotel' Facebook group (at one point boasting 14,000 members), Twitter account and blog, located at savethehoey.blogspot.com.au.
The only problem was that someone else created another blog, savethehopetoun.blogspot.com.au, which consisted of pictures of noted actor and dinosaur-skull collector Nicolas Cage. The enterprising webmaster of the latter blog then wrote the web address on the chalkboards outside the Hoey, which meant that all the well-meaning pub-goers who wanted to "Save the Hoey" found themselves lost in the endless vortex that is Nicolas Cage's ever-changing hair.
Fast-forward to last week, and Sydney has been aflutter with the news that The Hopetoun is under construction — but who is behind the refurbishment? Is it Justin Hemmes and his Merivale juggernaut? Is it Jamie Wirth and James Miller, the pair behind Surry Hills success stories the Norfolk, the Flinders, the Carrington and the Forresters? Or is it local restauranteur Kylie Kwong? (Hint: it's not her.)
Well, in the spirit of investigative journalism, we decided to duck across the road and find out. Turns out no-one has moved in — they're filming The Wolverine there on Monday. So, if you've never quite recovered from the gaping hole that was left in your heart by the closure of the Hoey, at least you'll be able to fill it with Hugh Jackman sightings. (Also, the Cricketer's is still going strong!)