This bar is Jed Clarke’s – perhaps better known as The Beer Baron, who in the past serviced the all hours alcohol needs of Sydney with his pushbike home delivery service – offering to Redfern’s bar scene.
There’s a scruffy, low-key charm to The Dock. It’s a cosy and inviting space, dimly lit with exposed brick walls and stone floors dressed with a mishmash of vintage furniture in worn shades of timber and deep red. A record player sets the mood – the smoky vocals of Tom Waits and some 70s rock played during our visit – but doesn’t drown out the buzzy, personable chatter of drinkers. A selection of board games, a dartboard and a piano hidden away at the back seems to invite patrons to linger and hang out – a definite drawcard for locals looking for a favourite drinking hole.
The drinks selection – chalked up on the wall beside the bar – is straight up but well rounded and caters for most tastes. There’s a handful of red and white wines, ranging from $5 to $9, and a nicely edited selection of classic cocktails: a smooth martini, margarita, bloody mary, whisky sour, caprioska or long island ice tea, plus they do $10 cocktails Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Those seeking something a little harder can take a pick of the house shots, like the Tom Selleck, B54 and Tom’s rocket fuel, for $8 a pop.
Beer, as one might expect of a bar established by a man dubbed The Beer Baron, is the base of The Dock’s signature drinks. There’s the fun tasty Skittlebrau, which brings together Carter’s beer and Skittles for a fiver, while the Stevie Nicks goes a little more high brow, blending beer, amaretto and coke ($13). Food is not currently on the menu, but free popcorn is dished out with every round of drinks.
The Beer Baron has delivered a wonderfully unpretentious, unpolished gem of a bar in The Dock, where the service is friendly and the prices very reasonable. It is sure to become the local watering hole of many a Redfern resident.