New bars focusing on very niche themes are popping up all over the city. It’s time to check out some of Sydney’s newest bar openings.
Steven Sparshott believed the record-bar scene in Sydney was underdeveloped, so he opened DeepGroove in Newtown with Mai Polic. The bar has more than 400 records and 14,000 electronic tracks, all of which patrons are encouraged to play. You can even bring your own records. The drinks list is flexible, much like the tunes, though an assortment of cocktails, beers and spirits are on offer. The Japanese-inspired DeepGroove Yuzu cocktail of gin and sake is worth a spin.
If you’re having dinner at 1821, or you feel like some Greek-style drinks, wander through to Bar Odessa. Located in the basement of 1821, behind a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it black door, this new Greek Revolution-inspired bar features plush red-velour banquettes and Greek political figures in gilt frames. Fig jam, Metaxa and ouzo are favourite ingredients on the cocktail list. Hire a high-backed booth for a minimum spend of $1000, if you’re keen.
Johnny Fontane is a little bit Chicago, a little bit Italy. Its theme: The Godfather. Or rather, it’s inspired by a place where characters from The Godfather might hang out. The space, designed by Belinda Cendron (Baxter Inn, Shady Pines), is sumptuous. We’re talking stained-glass-windowed doors, green-velvet chairs and hardwood floors. The drinks are mostly classics. There are four different Negronis, a selection of Jamaican, Italian, American and local beers, and Cuban cigars. Food wise, go for the deep-dish pizza. There are a few variations, but the Chicagoan classic pork and veal meatballs is a safe bet.
Bar No. 5
Bar No. 5 doesn’t look like much from the outside, it’s a little deceptive according to bar manager Alex O’Brien (ex-Archie Rose). This converted warehouse bar is homey, spacious and well stocked with cocktails, wines and Australian beers on tap. Some of the food is obviously inspired by its boozy surroundings, too. There are oysters with a Bloody Mary jelly; maple and apple cider pork belly and a gin and tonic cheesecake. Dogs are welcome.
Handpicked Cellar Door
The guys behind this venue, like those at Cake Wines, have their cellar door in the city. With vineyards in Mornington, Tasmania, Central Otago, Italy and the Barossa and Yarra Valleys, they decided it was easier to have one location. Food is by Formaggi Ocello and consists of charcuterie and cheeses. In terms of wine, you can grab takeaway, go in for a quick drink (there are 40 different wines by the glass), or sit down for 30-minute tasting with a sommelier. The space is lofty, industrial and cosy.