The evolution of The Rocks continues in full force with the impending opening of Alice, the first standalone bar from Hunter St Hospitality, the group behind Rockpool Bar & Grill, Spice Temple and Saké. “We are seeing a renaissance in The Rocks with some great openings in the area,” Hunter St Hospitality CEO Thomas Pash tells Broadsheet – and he’s right. Alice will join other recent Rocks openings, including Hickson House, the distillery and bar from The Barber Shop and Duke of Clarence team; gin-focused bar Frank Mac’s by the Doss House crew; and Le Foote, a Euro-style wine bar the Swillhouse Group (Frankie’s, Hubert, Alberto’s) will launch in the coming months.

Alice, a 65-seater, will is in the basement of the heritage-listed former bond stores on Argyle Street, and is slated to open in mid-September.

“We have always wanted to create an amazing premium cocktail bar and experience, and have been working on the idea for a few years,” says Pash. “The whole team was inspired by their own love of cocktails, bars and late-night dining to create a premium bar that is seductively unique.”

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Visitors will descend velvet curtain-lined stairs to below street level, where they’ll find a luxe jewel-toned room channelling vintage glamour, decorated with splashes of gold and velvet, with ostrich-feather lights and banquette, booth and bar seating.

While the drinks menu and bartending team is yet to be confirmed, there’ll be classic cocktails, as well as signature creations that change with the seasons. High rollers will be able to get classics mixed with vintage spirits tableside.

As you’d expect from the group behind Rockpool and Spice Temple – both known for offering outstanding bar menus – snacks will play an important role at Alice.

“We love that we can incorporate … elements and menu items from Rockpool Bar & Grill, Spice Temple and Saké into the experience,” says Pash. “Our cocktails are accompanied by an incredible bar menu, which is a reflection of our premium restaurants.”

Go large with a caviar service, or order from the “Raw and Sliced” menu of carpaccios, crudos and cured meats. Fried chicken, empanadas and dips with crisps will also act as perfect foils to the drinks, while sandwiches and fries will cater to larger appetites.

“People are always on the lookout for somewhere awesome to enjoy a pre-dinner drink, a post-dinner nightcap, or somewhere to relax for the whole evening with a roll call of amazing drinks and bites to eat,” says Pash. “Alice ticks all those boxes.”

The bar will also play host to takeovers by bartenders, distilleries and drinks companies, as well as regular DJs.

Alice is slated to open in mid-September at 16 Argyle Street, The Rocks.