For those who think the ’80s was a golden decade, you’ll love what Manny Hendra, owner of Chachi’s (yes, named after Scott Baio’s Happy Days character, and also Hendra’s nickname as a kid), is doing at his ’80s-themed bar on William Street.
He’s taken over the Old Growler site, transforming the intimate and laid-back space into a colourful neon-lit time-warp packed with nostalgic references, including posters of bands like Duran Duran, Polaroid cameras, Rubik’s Cubes and Lego. There are a couple arcade games (Space Invaders and Pac-Man) and board games such as Trivial Pursuit, Connect Four and Guess Who.
“It’s a place for people who don’t take themselves too seriously,” says Hendra.
The daggy-yet-cool retro theme carries over to the food. Each dish references the ’80s, such as the Kevin with Bacon Burger stacked with marinated chicken thigh, bacon, beetroot, cheese and lettuce, and the Balboa on White with good ol’ canned spaghetti and cheese. And if you’re there a half hour before doors close, Chachi’s treats you to a Zooper Dooper ice block.
For cocktails there’s the very bold Blue Lagoon, made with blue curacao, vodka and topped with lemonade; a slow gin sour that comes with toasted marshmallows; and a bunch of classics such as a Margarita and Hemmingway Daiquiri. There’s also tinnies of Foster’s.
Every Wednesday evening Chachi’s turns into a cinema, showing – of course – ’80s movies such as Dirty Dancing, The Goonies and Back to the Future. There are plans to introduce a karaoke night, too, so maybe it’s time to start practicing A-ha’s Take on Me and Bonnie Tyler’s Total Eclipse of the Heart.
218 William Street, Woolloomooloo
Wed to Sat 5.30pm–12am