The Town Hall steps have always been one of Sydney’s favourite meeting places. And now its Marconi Terrace has also become a spot to meet friends at.

Elettra launched quietly several months ago – a spacious bar on the open-air balcony on the Druitt Street side of Town Hall that pops-up on Friday evenings at 4pm and runs till late. Happy hour is actually two hours, until 6pm, and sets by up-coming Sydney DJ Beth Yen kick off at 5pm.

There’s food, such as cheeseburgers, spring rolls and Wagyu sliders, and beers by Young Henrys. Cocktails are by Archie Rose and, to make the sandstone building feel a little cosier, umbrellas, lemon trees and Mediterranean-inspired furniture are scattered about.

“All together it makes a unique little project,” says Mark Berkelmans from Sydney Town Hall and Customs House, the caterers at Town Hall. “It’s outdoors, next to an iconic heritage building and right in the middle of the CBD, but still hidden, with quality drinks and quality music.”

Weather sometimes hijacks the opening hours and it’s put off for a week, and to get in you need to register. While there check out the large sculpture on the terrace by Mike Kitching. It depicts a radio transmitter, mast and wave. The bar and terrace gets its name from the inventor of the wireless telegraph, Italian Guglielmo Marconi, who, on his research ship Elettra (a name he then gave his daughter), sent the first Morse code message (a faint S) in 1901. In 1930 he also successfully illuminated Sydney Town Hall by radio signal from his yacht moored in Genoa Harbour, Italy, more than 19,000 kilometres away.

Elettra is on the Marconi Terrace at the Sydney Town Hall every Friday (weather permitting), from 4pm until late. For entry, register here.

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