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29 September 2011

Hilton Hotel Sydney Marble Bar Turns 118 - 29th September 2011

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You've probably heard of it, and we think about half of Sydney has likely been there at least once in its glorious history. We're talking about the famous Marble Bar of course.

It's nestled away and underground the even more famous Hilton Sydney. The Marble Bar is a groovy music and arts themed hangout right in the centre of 'Sin City' Sydney. It’s a funky, cool and sexy place to enjoy live artists in luxurious surroundings and you must check out the bar of course, offering up a world class selection of wines, cocktails and beers from across the globe.

Marble Bar could be considered an ideal venue to chill with friends and associates, as well as make new ones - business, pleasure or both.

It was originally constructed in 1893. History buffs will be interested to learn that's older than the Sydney Harbour Bridge (1932) and Sydney Opera House (1973).

The joint has been a huge hit with both young and old over the decades, and that's sure to be the case looking into the future.

It's also proved to be popular with both celebrities - the beautiful people, as well as Joe and Jane Doe. Ok, you want celebrities names so try this one for size...Liza Minnelli, George Benson, Wyclef Jean, Kelly Rowland, Mischa Barton, Ewan McGregor, Adam Lambert, Kate Ceberano and Slash have all partied amongst its breathtaking and original marble features.

Music lovers will be wrapt to hear that iconic Australian band Cold Chisel announced their comeback tour at Marble Bar just last month. Now get this, that's the scene of their 1979 record album cover 'Breakfast at Sweethearts' which was famously photographed at the bar of the moment.

The 118 year old Heritage-listed drinking spot and entertainment hub is amazing. You have to touch up the bar and fittings to truly appreciate the quality, much like a fine women (or man).

We understand that the original George Adams Bar, named after its builder, was constructed costing a whopping 32,000 pounds.

The bar was relocated from Tattersall’s in 1973 and Hilton Sydney’s original architect J.H. Bryant took on the role of Marble Bar historian, even facilitating numerous articles on the colourful history of the bar.

In the following decades the Marble Bar enjoyed the patronage of visitors from around Australia, and around the world, and eventually the gloss started to come off (but there's a happy ending, so stay with us).

As the Hilton Sydney underwent its own renovation, Marble Bar stayed hidden away, waiting for its time to one again shine.

It was a massive job to get the venue back to its former glory, but in 2005 the job was done.

Hilton Hotel - Marble Bar marketing blurb (and a few insiders) tell us its a 15th Century Italian Renaissance influence of the Marble Bar including 35 different varieties of Italian, Belgian and African marble, plus stained glass doors and ceilings, ornate carved bars of mahogany and a gallery of 14 Julian Ashton paintings valued at an estimated $1.6 million AUD.

We're pleased to report that it was a delightful 118th Birthday Party for the Marble Bar. The vibe was assuredly cool, sexy and funky with live music from G3 featuring Glenn Cunningham.

Happy Birthday Marble Bar, and may you enjoy at least another 118 years of the best.

Where Is It?: Marble Bar, Hilton Hotel Sydney, Basement level, 488 George Street, Sydney

*photography by Eva Rinaldi Photography

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Hilton Hotel Sydney

Marble Bar

Eva Rinaldi Photography Flickr

Eva Rinaldi Photography

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