There’s a mini revival of Sydney’s nightlife quietly happening in the CBD. New bars like Employees Only and Cantina Ok! are open until 3am and 2am respectively and now, the very fancy Reign at the Queen Victoria Building joins that list. The champagne parlour and bar will be open until 2am Thursday to Sunday, and midnight every other night.
“There’s this perception there’s nowhere to eat or drink late at night anymore, so we really want to revive that,” says Patricia Salomo, general manager of Reign.
Reign, which has been opened by the Trippas White Group (which owns several Sydney venues, including 360 Bar and Dining and Sydney Tower Buffet), is on level one of the up-market shopping centre, in the space once home to the ABC store. It’ll be joined by a second venue, Esquire, a late-night New York-style supper club with a planned opening of March 28.
The former retail space is almost unrecognisable. The posh, light-filled 140-seater has brass detailing, hues of pink blush and gold, plus marble on nearly every surface – from the tables to the bar and floor. The arched window overlooking Town Hall and George Street and the opulent chandelier make for a grand entrance.
“We want to create this ultra-premium space where people are treated like royalty the moment they walk in, while still being accessible and affordable,” Salomo says.
Reign’s 150-plus champagnes and sparkling wines are sourced from some of France’s most renowned producers – such as Perrier-Jouët, Mumm, Dom Pérignon and Pierre Gimonnet – as well as Australia and Italy. You can go vintage or non-vintage, get a pet-nat, order them by the glass, or tour a region or a producer with a champagne flight. If you have any questions, sommelier Fabio Nistrio (ex-Sokyo and Bambini Trust) is on stand-by to assist.
If you’re a baller, the most expensive bottle is a 2006 Salon “S” Le Mesnil Brut, which’ll set you back a flashy $1880.
The wine, spirit and cocktail selections are just as extensive. Run by an all-women bar team, drinks are garnished with decorations such as origami crowns, paper planes and music sheets, and there’s more than 180 whiskies and 200 wines from around the globe. Thanks to Coravin technology, the bar can preserve open bottles of wine longer by pouring without removing the cork, meaning more fancy bottles will be available by the glass. There are four at the moment including the 2013 Egon Müller Scharzhofberger Kabinett Riesling Mosel for $55, and a 2003 Moss Wood cabernet sauvignon from Margaret River for $75.
A food menu has been created by executive chef Damien Worthington (ex-The Winery) to work with the champagne flavour profiles. There’s house-made goat cheese tortellini with watercress pesto; duck liver mousse served with a chive crumpet; and a thyme and honey ice-cream brownie sandwich – all elegantly plated, and, like the space, very photogenic.
On weekends, the venue is open for champagne brunch, serving king brown mushroom and pork fried rice; smoked salmon crème fraiche with pikelets and salmon roe; and ricotta fritters with orange, chocolate mousse and aged sherry ice-cream.
Champagne Parlour and Bar
Queen Victoria Building, Level 1, 455 George Street (Druitt Street entrance)
Mon to Wed 11am–12am
Thu to Fri 11am–2am
Sat to Sun 10am–2am