The original Palace Hotel was opened in 1886, the same year as the gasworks It was built on the river at the end of Tennyson Road, where the River Quays Marina now stands.
The first licensee was John Stuart. The hotel, known as Mongomery’s Palace, was a distinctive building with verandas and a tower which made it a popular vantage point for the viewing the sculling and rowing races along the Parramatta River.
This hotel was demolished in the mid-1920s and a new hotel, still named the Palace, was built further up Tennyson Road, nearly opposite the entrance to the gasworks. The gasworks entrance was also the Mortlake tram terminus.
The hotel became a very popular watering hole for the thirsty workers and was one of Sydney’s early-opener hotels. This variation to the normal hotel opening hours was to accommodate workers coming off night shift.
The hotel still serves excellent beer and has incorporated a bistro.
The Palace’s most striking feature is the size of its men’s toilet. “Big enough to hold a dance in”, quote the locals. This feature is a constant reminder that while the gasworks operated, the Palace dispensed huge volumes of beer to its many thirsty patrons.