Take a Historical Tour of the Imperial Hotel


The Commercial Family Hotel was built in Singleton on the corner of John and Elizabeth Street in 1881 by James Nicholls.  A stonemason by trade, he was born in Singleton in 1845.

But in 1897 Henry B Solomon, the new licensee changed the name to the Imperial Hotel, a name that 125-years later remains the same, although affectionately referred to as “The Impy” by locals. The hotel has seen its share of Licensee’s and owners since James Nicholls, over its 141-year history.

Those owners include my own grandparents who were the publicans of the hotel in the early 70s. When they sold the pub in 1976 the hotel was sold for $200,000. This year in 2022, the pub was sold to new owners for $18.5 million. How’s that for the price of inflation?

Today the Imperial Hotel is running strong under new licensee Cherie Beasley, with themed trivia every Tuesday night from 7pm and Karaoke every Thursday from 8pm. But enough of the history lesson. Let’s get to the good bit, the food.

My partner and I were looking for a somewhere for lunch on Saturday and as “Nothing beats a pub lunch,” we decided to visit the Imperial Hotel for a bite. And we were glad that we did. For starters, we had Italian bruschetta.  I for one am a big fan of bruschetta and like many things in life in can be done right and wrong. But bruschetta on garlic bread is bruschetta done right! The toppings were fresh, and the feta was creamy.

For our mains I was considering the homemade lasagne with chips and salad. I have a bad habit of ordering fish and chips every time I go somewhere so this time, I wanted to be different. Unfortunately, when I got to the classic’s menu, the option for fish and chips wasn’t just fish and chips. 

It was fish, chips, and mashie peas. My curiosity was peaked enough, and I unfortunately fell into old habits and had to go for the fish and chips. The lasagne would have to wait for next time.

But I must say I wasn’t disappointed the mushy peas was yummy and complimented the fish beautifully. Now as I mentioned I love fish and chips, but a problem I have found is they never give you enough tartar sauce.  This is not the case at the Impy as I was given a decent portion of it, served with a fresh salad and yummy chips.

My partner wanted the house made king chicken schnitzel (300Gs) with chips, seasoned vegetables, and mushroom sauce. The chicken was cooked beautifully with a light crunch.

And of course, no meal is complete without my favorite course, Dessert. We had a few options to choose from, but the winner was… Chocolate cake served with whipped cream and fresh strawberries. The cake was light and fluffy and the strawberries sweet and delicious.

So, the next time you find yourself in Singleton and are looking for dinner or lunch, or fancy a round of trivia come to the Imperial Hotel.

A Hotel with history.

The Imperial Hotel