With its vivid retro fit-out and friendly vibe, owners and mates Dan Knight and Jeremy Shipley have created a fun little bar that doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s like Mad Men meets Happy Days, with great cocktails thrown in.
Expect to be greeted with a little candy-striped cup of popcorn to munch on while you admire the small but adventurous cocktail menu. Choose from around 16 concoctions – maybe the Frozen Bourbon Milk Sundae with spices and vanilla-bean ice cream; the deadly Zombie, loaded with three types of rum (punters are restricted to two of these per night – ‘Hinky’s rules!’); or the divinely silky Gin ‘n’ Jam with a delicate rose flavour courtesy of Hinky Dinks’ homemade rose-petal jam.
The food, too, strays from the well-trodden path, traversing ‘peckish’, ‘hungry’ and ‘indulgent’, with a bar menu designed by Laif Etournaud, chef at Onde in nearby Liverpool Street. Dishes on offer include crostini with white anchovy, parsley and Spanish onion; a pan-fried olive and parmesan sandwich; and a salad of roasted portobello mushrooms, eschalots, chorizo, rocket and balsamic.
It doesn’t take long to settle in to this cosy space. It’s kind of like hanging out in a 50s kitchen, with its black-and-white checked floor, canteen-style seating and a bar that begs to be leaned on. But retro artwork, exposed brick walls and bold splashes of red and peppermint remind us that this is one stylish little bar.
So why the dinky name, you ask? It was named after Michael ‘Hinky Dink’ Kenna, a dodgy politician from Chicago who gave meals and drinks to the homeless at his bar, in exchange for votes. An incongruous pairing, it would seem, with the contemporary Hinky Dinks relying less on corruption and more on innocent charm and a cheeky smile to attract its followers.
Hinky Dinks will be opening on Sundays from 1pm, providing $30 jugs of Mai Tais, Hawaiians or El Diablos between 1pm and 5pm.
July also sees the launch of Hinky Bingo! where every dish purchased gets a stamp, with the 10th dish on the house.