Josh Dolman, Ashley Wilson and Robert Denisoff always wanted to run a bar together. In 2016, they, with chef Andy Nowell, opened Sunny’s Pizza. The problem was that everyone perceived it as a restaurant (albeit a great one).
So when the adjacent tenancy became available after Fairweather closed, the team, with fourth partner Daniel Vaughan, set out to realise its original vision. The result is 1000 Island. It's dimly lit and at times rowdy. There’s no food, no beer taps and a drinks menu loaded with concoctions to get your night going. It’s a bar that’s definitely a bar.
Situated in a back alley, the location doesn’t scream “beach vibes”. Instead, theres's a jumble of Aztec shapes, atomic age design, vintage film posters and abstract art – all shrouded in a neon glow. It’s all clashing colours, kitsch decor, multiple textures and flashing coloured lights. Stepping off the street, patrons pass between zebra-print curtains before entering a timber-lined den that feels somewhere between a lounge bar and a ’70s porn set.
The drinks list is unashamedly indulgent and stacked with (often flaming) cocktails the owners – all of them seasoned bartenders – say are fun to make: Pina Coladas, Zombies, Mai Tais and so on. Everything – from the drinks and decor to the music – takes its cue from that sense of enjoyment.