Originally a vinyl store sourcing and selling classic and hard-to-find records, drinks are now on hand at Mojo Record Bar. Only a few weeks into its new incarnation, the store’s shift into small bar territory comes with it the potential for a slew of dangerous purchases.
Descend the stairs from the street and you’ll find racks of records to your left, but the real reason this place moved from their old digs from up the road is behind the door just ahead of you. There you’ll find a CBD drinking den harbouring an old-school sensibility, dimly lit with low booth seating and tall stools before the solid wooden bar. It feels like the kind of place that can only get better with time.
With owners Daniel McManus and Jon Ruttan at the helm, Mojo still remains a store to source vintage and obscure vinyls. The bar is really just a natural extension of the shop, where apparently LP sessions would segue into drinking sessions long before a licence made it official. Perhaps what makes this little watering hole so likeable is that it isn’t ‘themed’ out of obligation to small bar quirkiness. Mojo had its point of difference and decided to build a bar around it, rather than the other way around.
That doesn’t mean that the drinks menu is some kind of afterthought. With Natalie Ng managing (formerly of Hugos Bar Pizza), the beer and wine list is Oz-centric and solid, while the cocktails have names like ‘Smells like Gin Spirit’. They’re impressive beyond the puns, giving you plenty of reason to drop by without needing to be a vinyl fetishist.
There’s no food here, but the playlist – made up mostly of blues and rock’n’roll – might go some way to nourishing you between drinks.
Mojo Record Bar
73 York Street (Basement level), Sydney
Mon to Fri 4pm–midnight