Sky Bar is the stunning jewel atop Shell House, one of the CBD’s most impressive art deco refurbishments. The space wraps around the building’s 400-tonne clocktower, with floor-to-ceiling windows looking out across the city, and bi-fold doors leading to an open-air terrace.

Cocktails have names such as Negative Gearing (clarified ice-cream bourbon, whisky, Fernet-Branca, hazelnut and smoked coconut) and Mile High Club (rosé, elderflower, orange blossom, sparkling wine), both references to the bar’s lofty position in the heart of town. The wine list has a strong Italian presence, plenty of Aussie drops and a smattering of options from France, Germany and South Africa.

Chevron stripes in terracotta and neutral tones are a running theme here, from the floor tiles to the plush lounges. Rounded, rust-coloured chairs add to the mid-century ambiance. Silhouette-like burnt orange and black murals cover the walls, while a handsome wooden bar dominates one section of the venue, which is lit by wreath-like ceiling lights. Altogether, the effect recalls Mad Men energy crossed with a ’30s Milanese speakeasy.

Updated: March 21st, 2022

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