There are plenty of wine bars in the inner north, but when two of the city’s best and most experienced sommeliers propose one more, we pay attention.
David Lawler and Tim Sacklin, both veterans of the Rockpool Group, will open Comptoir Cellars later this month on the ground floor of the new Oxley apartment complex on Stanley Street (opposite Proud Mary).
Comptoir (the French word for counter or bar) will be modelled on the enoteche of Europe. “A more relaxed, hole-in-the-wall, glass-of-wine sort of place,” says Lawler. Combining retail and restaurant, Comptoir Cellars will have around 45 seats and a short by-the-glass list. Around 300 bottles will be available for sale – either to take away, or to drink-in for a $10 corkage fee.
“We really want to make sure the wines are delicious,” says Lawler. “There will be a global selection of wine, but, like the lists we’ve written in the past, there’ll be a Victorian and Australian focus.”
Also for sale will be pantry items and other groceries. There’s no kitchen, so food to eat-in will be restricted to what can be served from the bar, such as cheese and charcuterie.
“We want it to be a sort of provedore, or neighbourhood place that you can drop into and either buy those dinner-party ingredients or sit and have a plate of ham and a great glass of wine,” says Lawler.