Just when you thought your city bar crawl card was getting full, along comes another one. Set in what was previously a garage in a laneway off Kent Street, Papa Gede's is a new cocktail bar put together by a friendly trio of experienced hospitality folks (Lara Dignam, Michael Dhinse and Joshua Ng), who have channelled New Orleans and a dash of voodoo with their new saloon.
Look for the flickering candlelight from the street and head in through the old cobblestone laneway. The space is small and intimate – there's a communal table at the front of the room, a bar behind it, and group settings (made up of old pews and handmade tables) alongside the other wall. A feature wall is covered in a mural of ferns, while other walls hold clusters of artfully arranged portraits. By the toilets, there's a vintage radio atop a small apothecary of homemade bitters.
At the bar, they're serving 4 Pines beer and Apple Thief cider, as well as a winelist, which offers some snappy numbers from South Australia and Victoria. But Papa Gede's is primarily a cocktail bar, and that's where you should be spending your time. Rum features prominently here, so try a Daiquiri, Navy Grog or a Barbados Slim (rum, coconut juice, lemon and crème de mure). The Remedy No. 1 sees bourbon stirred with crème brûlée tea syrup and Port and will cure pretty much any affliction. If you don't have to go to work tomorrow, ask for their absinthe list – they stock French, Swiss and American varieties.
Papa Gede's moves into the bustling CBD bar scene (The Lobo Plantation, Grandma's and a stack of others aren't far away), but its relaxed atmosphere, genial service and lengthy cocktail list is more than enough reason to pull up a pew and give it a whirl.
Papa Gede's Bar
Laneway, 346-348 Kent Street, Sydney
Mon to Fri 4pm – midnight
Sat 5pm - midnight