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Old Royal Hotel sticking around

Tuesday, 7th January, 2020

Old Royal owner Steve Sliwka.PICTURE: Callum Marshall Old Royal owner Steve Sliwka.PICTURE: Callum Marshall

By Myles Burt

The Old Royal Hotel will stay open after owner Steve Sliwka back flipped on closing up the pub last month. 

Mr Sliwka announced last year on the 9th of August that the Old Royal would shut at the end of 2019, due to medical issues and City Council rates.

After the closure, Mr Sliwka then planned to convert the Oxide Street pub from a commercial building into a private residence. 

Since then, Mr Sliwka said he and his wife Noelene have managed to come up with a better scenario in order to keep the pub open for business. 

He said the increase in business had allowed him to renovate the pub further over the past months, with his aim of finishing the kitchen, building new toilets, making more room by demolishing the existing shed and establishing a full time outside bar as a top priority. 

“So I said we’ll do it, we’ll do another year and hopefully we’ll work through everything,” Mr Sliwka said.

“We own everything, we’re not indebted to anyone so it’s just a slow progress to get where we need to go.”

Mr Sliwka said the Old Royal had seen an influx of patrons over the last three months, with the pub booked out almost every weekend for functions. Mr Sliwka said the large amount of support given to the Old Royal has been a big factor to keeping the doors open.

“It was too good an asset to sort of close it,” Mr Sliwka said.

“It’s still a profitable business you know, well that’s the main reason.

“There’s still going to be some competition with the Broken Hill Pub coming up, but I think we’ve got something that’s unique and it’s getting out there now.”

He said they’re close to completing the Old Royal’s new kitchen and are looking to open it up in the next 6 to 8 weeks.

“Hopefully sometime over February, I’d like to be able to plate, do something before St Pats,” Mr Sliwka said.

Mr Silwka said even whilst business has been really good over the last few months, his main aim has been to fund renovations through pub profits rather than through his main work profession outside the Old Royal. 

However, his improving medical condition has been the main reason for staying open, which will allow him to help out his wife Noelene more around the pub.

“I want to make this really clear, it’s never been that it’s not been a sustainable business, it’s really been more of a hardship,” Mr Sliwka said.

“I’ve been out of it now for a year or more since my knee was playing up and I had that replaced, it’s bouncing back slowly now, so I’ve been able to get up and do a bit, serve a little bit.

“But Noelene’s doing all the bloody hard work, long hours and you know all the hours you don’t see after.”

Overall, Mr Sliwka and Noelene are very happy they’re able to continue their work developing the Old Royal and serving their patrons.

“We’ve just got to plan, we’ve got an ambition we’ve just got to finish,” Mr Sliwka said.

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