The Olivia Hotel's co-owner Simon Schumann describes his venue as a “pub in wine-bar skin”. Schumann quietly opened the charming watering hole with sister Brette Schumann and friend and bartender Jack Wilkes (ex-Pollen 185) at the end of last year, replacing Good Life Modern Organic Pizza. Before that, the space was home to Cheong Liew’s trailblazing restaurant, Neddy’s.

Instead of bringing on a well-known designer, the Schumanns and Wilkes decided to embrace the building’s quaint, offbeat charm. They’ve kept the stained-glass front doors and original wooden floors. Op-shop finds and used furniture fill the rest of the space. There are velvet scalloped armchairs, wooden tables and vintage lamps. The fit-out is almost reminiscent of an old library, which is fitting, because Olivia is a reference to the character in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.

A rotating cocktail list features three classic options at a time. You might see a single-malt Old Fashioned; whisky and bourbon Sours; or a Negroni garnished with a eucalyptus leaf.

The beer and wine lists will also change regularly. Past wine options include a Charlotte Dalton semillon, a Brave New Wine shiraz and a Gentle Folk pinot noir. As for beer, there are brews on-tap from Little Bang, among others.

The back of the bar opens to a sun-filled courtyard, with stairs (and a grapevine) leading to a rooftop beer garden with a fruit-bearing fig tree and a pronounced Mediterranean feel.

Alongside bar snacks (such as bowls of chips and jerky), cheeseboards are available too (ingredients will rotate). One possible combination might be buffalo milk blue cheese and Crémeux D’Argental with house pickles, sourdough and house-made Campari marmalade.

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Updated: August 30th, 2021

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