A massive 200-seat retro restaurant and bar has opened in Redfern and hardly anyone noticed. It’s kind of hidden. Head to the south side of George Street and you’ll see two large, black doors – ones that look like they open to an unscrupulous basement-style club. That’s Misfits.
The new venture comes from the W. Short Hotel Group, the team behind The Glenmore, The Australian Heritage Hotel and The Tudor Hotel just down the road. “There's a change in demographic here. There are a lot of venues that target the market that's already here. We wanted to build a venue that was for the Redfern of the future but still harking back to the history of the area,” says group executive chef James Privett.
Compared to many of the venues in the area, this seems to be the ultimate symbol of gentrification.
An old-fashioned ’60s and ’70s vibe has been preserved here, almost like something out of Peter Sellers’ The Party. The Brompton Group’s multi-faceted design (a dining room, sort-of-rooftop courtyard, casual front bar and secret bar behind a bookshelf) is lavish and full of mid-century furniture. The colour scheme takes inspiration from paisley patterns and ’60s pastels. “It’s retro but without a retro product. A venue we like to think people can feel like they're anywhere in world, not necessarily in Redfern,” says Privett. Hence the name Misfits.
It’s what you’d expect from a modern Sydney pub – burgers and commercial brews as well as craft spirits and handmade blood sausages. “It's not all up market, we've got Melbourne bitters. You can come here for anything you like. It's accessible,” says Privett. There’s an impressive range of tap and bottled beer, spirits and cocktails that include a lot of big, commercial products. The whisky selection is particularly impressive.
Pub classics such as steak frites and roast lamb cutlets sit next to more up-market dishes like the smoked-beef tartare with charcoal tapioca crisps; and a kingfish carpaccio with kaffir lime, puffed rice and compressed cucumber. “We're not here to challenge people with the food offering. We're not Bennelong, we want people from all walks of life to find something they'd like.”