Neighbourhood Bondi bar manager Simon McGoram is formerly of Gardel’s Bar atop Porteño. The former Bondi FM site has seen a six-week refurbishment that stripped back the dining room and kitchen areas. The bar can still be found out front, spilling onto the pavement. Clad in deep blue subway tiles, the open galley kitchen faces a cosy seating area filled with reclaimed pieces – Tooheys beer crates become stools, while the walls are lined with timber fence palings rescued from a couple of nearby primary schools.
The in-house radio station is still in operation, but will be renamed Bondi Radio.
Nestled among fresh fruit on the bar, a miniature wooden barrel is filled with the house-blended rum. The mixture, including Captain Morgan Dark Rum, Bundaberg O.P. and Flor de Caña, is the signature ingredient in the Neighbourhood Hooch along with fresh pineapple juice. The cocktail menu has a tropical feel, but the range of drinks also includes craft beers and local and imported organic wines.
From the kitchen, snack on dishes like macaroni cheese with blue swimmer crab and smoked speck or popcorn Cajun school prawns, while the Big Mama Sunday Roast offers a more filling main course. Jaffles are made in a proper sandwich press to seal the bread, bursting with a generous filling – try the Philly cheesesteak or pork neck and baked bean ragu options.
Like the food and drink menus, the venue serves up a bit of everything – just what you need in a local.