When Club 77 closed its doors, Sydney lost an icon of late-night debauchery. This cavern was once a temple to grimy music – it regularly hosted The Bang Gang DJs, DJ Hookie and Starfvckers. As of 2016 it’s back – albeit in a very different form, thanks to Jaime Wirth and his business partner, Michael Delaney.
The space is truly unrecognisable. A low ceiling is lined with dramatic red neon. The mirrored liquor shelf is stocked with Eastern European favourites, such as Goldwasser, Becherovka and Slivovitz. The walls are studded with comfy booths. 77’s most inviting feature is the 40-seat bar that winds around the venue. If you’re not shooting pool or dancing, you could spend the entire night chewing the bartender’s ear off.
Like the booze – which includes 30 different beer options – 77’s menu is inspired by Eastern European flavours. The signature dish is the freshly baked pretzel, which comes with molten cheese for dunking. In the same health category there’s the fried garlic, which is made by boiling garlic gloves in milk before deep-frying them. More substantial options include the spicy currywurst (Berlin’s favourite street food) and the simple cheeseburger. 77’s fried-chicken sandwich is beautifully dense, layered with mayonnaise, celeriac and fennel remoulade. Then there’s a selection of Russian caviar.