The old wall tiles remain, and the carpet (new, but artfully splattered with black marks) pays homage to the griminess of the original Clare on Broadway. But that's where the similarities end. Sitting at the entrance to the Kensington Street precinct, the lobby bar of the Old Clare Hotel is a swish World Class drinking spot far removed from its past life.

Cocktails are the focus. An A-Salt and Batter-Y is butter and bacon-washed rye with doughnut syrup and coffee bitters, while A Damson In A Stress mixes Ketel One vodka, damson, rosemary, lemon, sparkling wine, Aperol and 'hate mail' (you'll have to order one to find out what that entails).

At the big circular bar, which provides a handsome centrepiece for the room, you can still swill Reschs or sip beers from Murray's Craft Brewing Co., Batch and Lord Nelson. And there's even wilder stuff such as the Red Duck Hop Shark Anglo-American Ale. A mainly local wine list offers three whites and three reds by the glass, and a couple more of each by the bottle.

A kitchen is currently being built, but dining hotspots Automata, Silvereye, Spice Alley and the Kensington Street Social are mere steps away.

On Saturday nights retro DJs start spinning from 7pm.

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Updated: July 6th, 2022

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