The crew behind Henrietta Supper Club and Bondi’s Neighbourhood has opened Newtown’s newest small bar.

At Raven’s Eye the focus is firmly on the food – “Simple home-style Italian with a bit of street food thrown in for good measure,” says Simon McGoram of the newly formed Idle Group. “Our burger, the Royale with Cheese, is already a hit in Bondi and at Henrietta Supper Club.”

Other highlights on the menu designed by Joshua Franco and head chef Matt Ouwerkerk (ex Henrietta Supper Club and Bishop Sessa) include the Mac'n'cini balls; arancini with pig’s head and smoked tomato jam, and the Bombe Alaska dessert with lemon ice cream, lemon curd and Italian meringue.

The venue’s name is another nod to its Italian-American inspiration. Raven’s Eye is the mafiosi hangout in the 1997 mob flick Donnie Brasco.

The interior features exposed brickwork, warm timbers and low lighting provided by retro Karbon globes. The idea behind the design was to create the sense that the bar has been there forever. “We’ll be filling the place over the coming months with detritus – old wooden crates, pressed metal booze posters, black-and-white photos,” says McGoram.

Raven’s Eye offers punters a welcome alternative to the ubiquitous Thai and Japanese restaurants that populate the top end of King Street, a strip crying out for more small bars. “We think that an offering like we have at Raven's Eye is in demand,” says McGoram. “Look at Kingston Public and their success.”

Encouragingly, the first two weeks of trading have been strong. “It’s getting busier every day,” he says. “We’ve received a warm welcome from Newtown locals.”

Raven’s Eye
127 King Street, Newtown

Mon toThu 5pm–midnight
Fri to Sat 11.30am–midnight
Sun 11.30am–10pm