Hilton Sydney’s popular nightlife venue Marble Bar marked its 130th anniversary this week with the hotel launching new initiatives to ensure the venue lives on in the local bar scene for many years to come.

Since its establishment in 1893, the Victorian-style bar has become a cherished meeting place and live music venue for Sydneysiders as well as a host of famous guests including Liza Minelli, Cold Chisel, The Veronicas and Adam Lambert.

At a party to celebrate the occasion, Hilton Area Vice President Paul Hutton, who has worked with Hilton for over 40 years, recounted tales of his time working at Marble Bar.

“I started working down here in my early 20s, managing in the early 90s,” he told those in attendance.

“There weren’t so many exciting venues to go in Sydney [back then] and this hotel had six or seven of the best bars and one of the best nightclubs in town.

“When I was General Manager, we did The Veronica’s 25th birthday party down here, we’ve had Kesha down here, [English playwright] Noel Coward was here in the 40s… There’s an immense amount of history here.  

“We haven’t got so many bars that have continued trading for 130 years in Australia, so as a team, we’re just immensely proud.

“It remains this incredible fixture for us in the hotel.”

To celebrate the milestone, Hilton Sydney commissioned Sydney-based writer, Leta Keens, to comb the archives of the NSW State Library to explore the history of the space.  

She uncovered a souvenir brochure, published when the bar opened in September 1893, proclaiming it ‘the handsomest marble hall in Australia, worthy of London or Paris’, as well as a piece of writing from the 1930s, claiming that ‘nowhere in the world is there a saloon which equals the artistic beauty and architectural magnificence of the famous Marble Bar’.

Hilton Sydney General Manager Hayden Hughes shared some of the many highlights from Marble Bar’s rich history at the 130th celebration and expressed his confidence in its enduring legacy.

“Marble Bar’s enduring legacy has all of the hallmarks of becoming one of the world’s most iconic hotel bars,” said Hughes.

“Celebrating this remarkable 130-year milestone is testament to a venue that I am sure we will again return to celebrate for decade’s worth of anniversaries to come.”

Evolving its offering for new and returning patrons, Hilton Sydney has partnered with creative consultants Proof and Co to creative a modern cocktail offering with engaging drinking rituals, refreshed uniforms and equipment, and to define the overarching concept of the venue itself.

“Marble Bar is dear to the hearts of many Sydney-siders as well as a heritage gem,” said Proof Creative, Senior Bar Consultant, Charlie Ainsbury.

“As such, we are honoured to play a part in re-establishing it as an iconic drinking destination of Australia; an exceptional contribution to the world’s great hotel bars.”

Guests can also experience the first beer to ever be poured on tap at Marble Bar in 1893 – Swan Larger from Swan River in Perth Western Australia – which is available until the end of the year.