When Bulletin Place closed in May 2021, Sydney lost one of its greatest bars. But with the arrival of Bar 1880, the space is in for a revival. Like its predecessor, the new watering hole is dedicated to innovative, surprising, season-driven cocktails and warm, personal, attentive service – all while, as the name suggests, honouring its history.
“The aim was to maintain the feel of old Sydney,” owner Harry Morton tells Broadsheet. “Sydney, particularly Circular Quay, is full of history, which I love. Being able to build within a building that has been part of that history is incredible.”
From 1880 to 1897, the multi-floor venue housed the offices and production facilities of weekly newspaper The Bulletin. Now, the warehouse walls are painted deep blue, and low lighting, sepia photographs and old newspaper clippings create the intimate, otherworldly atmosphere of a bygone era.
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The first floor is home to The Press Room, a lush bar where uneven floorboards still carry the marks of the original printing press.
“We offer 10 signature cocktails with different [flavour] profiles, using house-made ingredients,” says Morton. “For us, it’s important to rotate our menu every season with creativity and unexpected combinations of flavours.”
Morton worked with his stellar bar team, Didier Nahum (ex-Zephyr) and Alex Raclet (2011 French bartender of the year), to put together the list of originals. Meet Me in Normandy is close to being the favourite, the refreshingly sour concoction of Christian Drouin calvados, Benedictine liqueur, house-made curacao and vanilla bitters – with a foamy egg-white top – bringing people back for round two.
Lighter and more citrusy is the Palomino, featuring El Jimador tequila and Islay Scotch whisky alongside rhubarb ginger cordial, ruby grapefruit soda and lime salt, which are all made in-house. I’m Still Standing makes for a rich, heady late-night kicker, with Woodford Reserve bourbon, Carpano vermouth, apricot brandy and coffee-laced absinthe.
Another section of the menu, Forgotten Cocktails, peddles drinks based on recipes from century-old books, such as Harry MacElhone’s Barflies and Cocktails (1927) and Harry Craddock’s The Savoy Cocktail Book (1930). Head to Paris circa 1920 with an Old Pal (The Gospel rye whiskey, vermouth and Campari), or 1940s Egypt via the Suffering Bastard (Francois Voyer VS cognac, Hickson House gin, lime, ginger and bitters).
There’s also a small selection of bar snacks – including salted popcorn, cheese, charcuterie and tinned sardines – available upstairs and at the ground-floor Headline Bar, which opens onto outdoor seating among the cobblestones of Bulletin Place. The cosy setting is ideal for a quick drink, offering a concise list of four signatures and two seasonally appropriate hot cocktails, including a Hot Toddy made with 12-year-old Johnny Walker Black, honey, lemon and cloves.
10 Bulletin Place, CBD
Tue to Thu 4pm–midnight
Fri & Sat 4pm–2am