There are certain expectations placed on a bar when its sister was recently announced Best Bar in Sydney and World’s Best New Cocktail Bar. Tucked away in Potts Point at the site of the old French restaurant Apres, The Roosevelt is the latest venture from Eau de Vie’s Sven Almenning and Graham Ette.
Named after the Kings Cross club owned by notorious 1940s crook Abe Saffron, The Roosevelt is riddled with references to its namesake. Staff are dressed in well-to-do prohibition-era garb and suspenders, lights are dim and tables are adorned with small, moodily lit lamps. Think old Hollywood, perfect for a late night negroni. But be prepared for a show; The Roosevelt features a cocktail ‘wheelie’ bar in the centre, where the dapper bartenders pour flames and liquid nitrogen for smoky cocktails.
After being escorted to a table, you are presented with a detailed drinks menu full of cocktails that are ‘Elegant, Sassy & Fun’ or ‘Boozy, Strong & All Things Manly’. For something stiff and strong try the ‘Dead End’, a smoky concoction served in a hip flask.
Although there are plans to serve food, only bar snacks are available at present. Come early February there will be a $150 per head five-course degustation menu with matching cocktail available – something Sydney has not yet experienced. Dining will be available in a private dining room where food will be prepared by head chef David Leitzen, who has worked at several Michelin-starred restaurants. Stand by for this.
The room can be a little stale when it’s empty, but we all know bars are better when they’re full. So as the night wears on, the vibe heats up at The Roosevelt. This place feels like a late-night haunt and it relies on the dark, snug New York circa early 1900s atmosphere. It’s great for winter and great for a late cocktail, but we’ll take a sharp martini from these guys any time.
This is the kind of place you want to finish your night, lucid but sophisticated. So it’s a shame it closes at midnight, but we’re glad it’s here because Potts Point could sure use a few more places like it.
32 Orwell Street, Potts Point
Tue - Fri 5pm–midnight
Sun 12pm - 10pm