Hole in the Wall, Sliema

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A pic of the Hole in the wall, Sliema, from the outside

The Hole in the Wall is a restaurant and bar located in Sliema, Malta.[1][2][3]

According to The Times of Malta it is the oldest bar in Sliema.[1] Loving Malta merely calls it one of the oldest. According to the bar's web-site it was originally a stables, and was turned into a bar in 1922.[4] The website notes "At the time, it was literally a hole in the wall, with no seating & selling take-away wine from huge vats."

Originally the owners sold wine from vats, to offduty airmen and soldiers, who referred to the then unnamed venue as "the hole in the wall".[1]

From 1959 to 2005 the bar was owned and operated by Anthony Bartolo and his sons.[1] The Bartolos were from a family that specialized in food and catering, and the family owned several restaurants, including one next door. According to The Times of Malta, subsequent owners made bad management decisions, and the venue was in decline.

Ian Schranz described the bar, when he bought it, as a sports bar, where male patrons arrived in a group, to watch sporting events on TV, got loudly drunk, and hooted and hollered at women passing on the street.[1][5] Schranz described some of the steps he and his brother and co-owner took to attract a different clientele, starting with no longer tuning in to sporting events.

Schranz, an indie rock musician, says they bought the bar on a dare, and had to spend their first six months learning how bars operate.[1][5]

When The Times of Malta reported that the government of Malta had shut down all pubs and restaurants as a precaution arising from the spread of the Covid 19 virus it noted that The Hole in the Wall had already shut down, due to the downturn in business due to the virus.[6]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Another Drink in the Wall : Sliema's Oldest Bar, Times of Malta, 2021-01-04. Retrieved on 2021-01-25. “Despite its blink-and-you-miss-it exterior, the Hole In The Wall – the oldest pub and bar in Sliema – is now a revelatory Diagon Alley inside.”
  2. David Grech Urpani. One Of Sliema’s Oldest Pubs Is Now Its Newest!, Loving Malta, 2016-12-06. Retrieved on 2021-01-25.
  3. Hole in the Wall Bar. My Guide Malta. Archived from the original on 2021-01-25. Retrieved on 2021-01-25. “The Hole in the Wall pub has been around for over 90 years. It was originally used as stables owned by Miss Antoinette Ganado who sold it as a pub to its very first owner, Manuel Scicluna. At the time, it was literally a hole in the wall with no seating space selling take-away wine from huge vats.”
  4. Hole In The Wall, 1922: the story of the oldest bar in Sliema. Archived from the original on 2020-11-28. Retrieved on 2021-01-25.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Maria Pace. Ian Schranz: ‘I cry all the time. Probably watching Moana or Frozen’, Malta Today, 2019-06-11. Retrieved on 2021-01-25. “Fatherhood, music, and owning the iconic Hole In The Wall pub in Sliema – Beangrowers drummer and Bark Bark Disco singer-songwriter Ian Schranz tells all in the Q&A”
  6. Laura Swale. How coronavirus cancellations have hit the entertainment industry, Times of Malta, 2020-03-22. Retrieved on 2021-01-25. “This week, the government announced that all bars, restaurants and clubs would close. Even before this latest development, Sliema’s live music venue Hole in the Wall had already announced a temporary closure in light of the nature of its business “which brings people together and exposes our staff to hundreds of people on a daily basis”, and Hugo’s had already taken the decision to close its pubs, restaurants and bars in Paceville.”

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