When Jamie Webb (Sonny’s House of Blues, Gordita, Los Villanos Mexican Kitchen, The Hope & Anchor) and Jason Scott of Sydney’s Shady Pines Saloon got their hands on the old Velvet Cigar, they weren’t about to squander the opportunity.

Trading women in nipple tassels for live country acts, the pair has transformed the old gentleman’s lounge into a rowdy music hall, where the spirit of honky-tonk lives on. There’s still plenty of velvet about the place, with the addition of stuffed moose heads (now covered in bras) and other vintage decor.

Each night a different live country band plays from 9pm. Think Johnny Cash, not Garth Brooks. Slide into a leather booth and tap your toe to a tune, or find a partner and take to the dance floor for a hoedown.

Roaring good times are fuelled by whisky and rum. The signature drink is the Green Devil – a libation of whiskey or rum with fresh apple juice – and more than one tonne of apples is juiced each week to meet demand.

To stumble upon Lefty’s hidden bar, turn left just before you enter the main music hall. Upstairs, you’ll find yourself inside the nautical-inspired Mermaid Lounge, where rum is the drink of choice.

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Updated: November 1st, 2017

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