One of the appeals of a rooftop bar is that it’s always a hidden oasis from the busy foot traffic below. This latest one, in the former terrace of Olio Kensington Street, overlooks Chippendale’s Kensington Street and transports you to the Sicilian coast.
The signature aperitivi at the 60-seater Spritz Bar is, naturally, a spritz. It comes from a tap and is a mix of Tanqueray, Aperol and blood-orange soda, garnished with fresh mint and a slice of orange. Equally as refreshing is the G&T made with watermelon tonic.
The indoor-outdoor terrace bar is a complete contrast to owner and mixologist Grant Collins’s first venture, Gin Lane, which is just down the street. “Spritz Bar is very laid-back and has a Mediterranean vibe. Gin Lane is dark and moody and Prohibition-style, which people love, but when they come up to Spritz Bar they love it so much they decide not go back to Gin Lane,” he says.
Cocktails are the main focus here – there are 22 on the menu – and some are theatrical, like the Rooftop Bramble which Collins says you can “drink through your nose”. “We vaporise a red wine ‘fog’ that you inhale and then you drink it afterwards,” he explains. There’s also the Flower Power Sour, which is served in a pot plant with edible soil. The Coconut Negroni isn’t tricked up – it’s just coconut-washed gin, Rosso, Campari, and candied coconut and orange.
An issue for bars exposed to the elements is the weather. When the cooler weather hits, Collins says, “We’ll be doing spicy, warmer winter twists on the spritzes and build-your-own mulled wine.”
Collins is working with Lino Sauro, head chef of neighbouring Olio, to serve Sicilian-inspired bar snacks. Crowd-pleasers include arancini with pecorino cheese and saffron, and warm bread with caponata and fresh ricotta.
There’s a soundtrack of ’50s and ’60s-inspired jazz and Balearic beats, and there are plans to introduce live jazz nights in the coming weeks.
Although it doesn’t take much to get people slinging back spritzes, on Monday from 5pm until close, Tuesday to Thursday from 5pm to 7pm, and Friday and Saturday 4.30pm to 6pm you can order $10 Aperol Spritzes, $12 Espresso Martinis and $20 spritz jugs.
The Old Rum Store, Level 2, 2-10 Kensington Street, Chippendale
Mon to Sat 5pm–late
Fri to Sat 4pm–late
This article first appeared on Broadsheet on March 14, 2019. Menu items may have changed since publication.