The George Street Hoedown Is Coming

Rebecca Varidel
21st Nov 2022

For one day only the main street of Sydney Central Business District will be shut down and lined with hay bales. The three-hour lunch will immerse the public in a celebration of all things Nashville, creating a unique and innovative cultural event as part of the ongoing revitalisation of Sydney’s city centre.

As part of Destination NSW's OPEN FOR LUNCH the country will be taking over the city and shutting down the streets for The George Street Hoedown. A melting pot of collaborators including Porteno, Route 66, Young Henrys and international country musicians Joshua Hedly and Emily Nenni, will bring a touch of Nashville tastes and sounds for an unforgettable Southern lunch on Friday, 2 December 2022.

The George Street Hoedown kitchen team will be led and curated by local legends, Ben Milgate and Elvis Abrahanowicz of Sydney institutions Porteno and Bodega. The creative hospitality partnership will feed guests their take on the delicious infamous Nashville eats, with the canteen kitchen filling the George Street skies with sticky goodness and flavour.

“We love Nashville. We love Nashville food. And we love Nashville music even more, so we’re stoked to be serving up our take on classic Nashville food and drink in our hometown of Sydney at The George Street Hoedown, with live music from two of Nashville’s finest – Joshua Hedley and Emily Nenni – all the way from the USA” Ben Milgate and Elvis Abrahanowicz exclaimed.

Menu highlights include Nashville hot chicken with potato salad and pickles on sliced white bread, pulled free range pork with slaw, vegan pulled pork tacos, fried flathead tacos, loaded crinkle cut chips with pulled pork and pickled jalapeños, and for dessert Chess pie with whipped cream. Ticket holders will be given two food and drink tickets on arrival, along with access to purchase additional a la carte food items.

And it wouldn't be an authentic hoedown without Tennessee whisky and beers flowing. Two whisky cocktails - Banana Old Fashioned and alcoholic Tennessee Lemonade - with Newtown outlaws Young Henrys’ and Heaps Normal taking care of ice-cold beers - will be offered at the bar.

The soundtrack and vibe of the day will come directly from Tennessee, with Nashville resident and rising country star, Joshua Hedley performing at his only Sydney show. Flying in from the USA with his band and special guest, Emily Nenni, the highly regarded ace fiddler player, sharp guitarist and singer will treat guests with three power hours of live music. LOVE POLICE will curate the music, also spinning the sweet country tunes on the day.

For the final stage of the western takeover and immersion, iconic Newtown vintage store Route 66, will be purveying a range of limited and exclusive Hoedown merchandise for the country diehards and the country converted on the day. The special Western pop-up store will deck you out in the finest southern fashion, with an overload of denim and bolo ties to take your fancy.

The George Street Hoedown is part of OPEN FOR LUNCH a Destination NSW initiative to kick off the summer events season by bringing together food, drink, entertainment and people for an en mass alfresco dining experience. This is an event not to be missed, with Sydney’s finest purveyors of food, drink and vintage clothing coming together for an exclusive take on Nashville food, drink and sounds from Joshua Hedley – the hottest talent coming out of Tennessee.

OPEN FOR LUNCH Sydney CBD tasty menu covers four individual event precincts, spanning George Street from Park to Hunter Street, will see Sydney’s diverse dining scene come to life in a manner never before seen. With a little bit of something for everyone to choose: Luke Mangan’s glass brasserie, Merivale’s Jordan Toft (mimi’s) and Mike Eggert (Totti’s), and including never before seen collaborations with NOLA smokehouse, Rockpool Dining Group and Anna Polyviou. And then there's a carnival-themed food spectacular at the YCK Fair, featuring dishes from Cash Only Diner, Stitch Bar, Esteban, PS40 and The Barber Shop.

Moving out west, OPEN FOR LUNCH in Parramatta takes place at CommBank Stadium where guests will enjoy an amazing culinary experience overlooking the hallowed turf of western Sydney’s home of sport and entertainment. On arrival guests will be treated to an array of live stations showcasing the best food and drink from some of Parramatta’s finest neighbourhood restaurants. Guests will then have the opportunity to delight in an incredible paddock to plate experience designed by Western Sydney born and raised, Matt Moran. The day will finish with an intimate Motown’s Greatest Hits special by Australian icons, Human Nature.

This Summer in Sydney event series builds on an incredible Sydney major events line-up including Opera on Cockatoo Island, Frida Kahlo: The Life of an Icon, the Art Gallery of NSW Opening Festival, blockbuster musicals, festivals, major sporting events such as Sail GP, the United Cup and the HSBC Sydney Sevens. To find out more, Feel New and plan your summer at