When Stanley’s Bar in Darlinghurst first opened in May last year, it looked to the whimsical visual style of Wes Anderson films (The Royal Tenenbaums, Moonrise Kingdom, The Grand Budapest Hotel) for inspiration. Now it has new owners and a new reference point: the ’80s crime-drama TV series Miami Vice.
While the Anderson-esque powder-pink exterior remains, the zebra-print wallpaper (inspired by that in Margot Tenenbaum’s room) that once covered the interior has been replaced with pops of flamingo-pink and teal paint. The space has also been rearranged to include additional seating along the wall opposite the bar.
“The space was underutilised and there was way too much going on. There wasn’t enough space for people to actually chill out. Everyone was very cramped. But we’ve really opened it all up,” general manager Java Muskitta (ex-Button Bar) tells Broadsheet. “[The new decor is] tasteful and not too much in your face.”
The new owners are the same crew that’s behind Enmore’s recently updated Sly Fox hotel and underground house-music event SASH.
They plan to use the space to host up-and-coming DJs. Thursday evenings will be BYO-record night to give budding DJs the chance to spin tracks from their collections. On Friday and Saturday nights local and international acts will take turns in the booth, pumping mainly disco-house.
To match the venue’s tropical party vibe, Muskitta has put together a cocktail list that uses seasonal ingredients. Signatures include the Flamingo Rum (watermelon, vodka, pomegranate and basil), which is named after the pink paint on the walls, and the Everything’s Peachy, with gin, Aperol and peach liqueur, topped with prosecco. A twist on a classic Piña Colada has caramelised popcorn and creamy coconut milk, a wink at the Caribbean coastline Miami sits on.
On tap there’s a rotating selection of craft brews from locals including The Grifter Brewing Co, which is taking up the bar’s first craft-beer residency with its refreshing C Boogie cucumber kölsch and the summery watermelon pilsner the Serpent’s Kiss.
On the food front, there’s a selection of bar snacks including smoked almonds, wasabi peas and curried peanuts. It’s also serving three toasties: a classic cheese; a Reuben; and a truffle toastie layered with vegemite, truffle and camembert. “It’s weird but it works so well,” says Muskitta.
79 Stanley Street, Darlinghurst
Wed to Sun 4pm–12am