t’s nice to see that the somewhat unsteady times for hospitality aren’t dampening the industry’s insatiable spirit, with One Moncur opening last week in Woollahra.
Positioned on the quieter end of Moncur Street in what was once the old Phoenix Hotel, the champagne bar (one of only a couple in Sydney) tips its hat to a lifestyle of celebration. It features over 30 champagnes on the menu and snacks to match, including charcuterie from that other Woollahra winner, Victor Churchill. Brothers Luke and Jeremy Browne, along with business partner Anthony Rosen, had big dreams of a small bar for a while before they found the right spot.
“Jeremy and I had been talking about doing a bar for about 10 years,” says Luke. “But the three of us together got talking about a small bar when we were in London five or six years ago now.”
While it may not be a small bar, it’s no cavernous cocktail parlour either. “There’s actually been a licensed premises on this spot since 1883,” Luke continues and the photos of the building’s heritage dotting the walls prove it. The pokies are gone and the interior has been spruced up by local designer Henrietta Reed, with vines twining above the bar and images of classic champagne bottles papering the walls.
“We wanted it to feel like a New York or London champagne bar.”
According to Luke, Jeremy is a champagne nut with no formal training but a hell of a lot of passion for sparkles and an abiding love of the Champagne region. The team is expertly guided by an unnamed executive sommelier and Tristan Tomlinson (previously La Grillade and Manta) who together aim to make champagne both fun and accessible for patrons.
“There is a perception of champagnes bars being expensive, but we don’t want to be that. We’re trying to create an environment and experience where people can access and enjoy champagne.”
Oysters are to be shucked to order and you can enjoy a cocktail or a wine too – but that might just be missing the point.
1 Moncur Street, Woollahra
Mon to Sat 4pm–11pm
(With plans for lunch openings in the future)