It’s tricky to locate, but when you do, Grasshopper is one of the nicer things to find lurking at the end of a dark alley. Planted inconspicuously at the far end of Temperance Lane, this tiny CBD sanctuary was one of the first of a number of small bars to crop up in the midst of Sydney’s interior.
Opened by Martin O’Sullivan (who is President of the Small Bar Association), Belinda Lai and John Toubia, Grasshopper is both a bar and a restaurant. The latter is a wonderfully cosy room upstairs with a small, French-leaning menu. Champagne and oysters? Veal with snail and garlic butter? Steak au poivre? Don’t mind if we do! The food is rich, tasty and suited to the warm, candle-flecked atmosphere.
If you’re just in for a drink, head downstairs. In the depths of the ‘hopper you will find some competent bartenders mixing a list of quaintly old-fashioned drinks with a wonderfully new-age quality (they serve them in recycled jam jars).
Cassette tapes are used as bar tabs, black and white photos are pasted up as wallpaper and furniture is haphazardly placed about the bar, creating an eclectic feel inside this intimate haunt, as city-slicking suits pile in after knock-off.