We've got bars with barbershops, bars with record stores and bars hidden behind pizzerias. Now the city has a bar with an in-house soda works. It is by bartenders Michael Chiem (ex-Lobo Plantation) and Thor Bergquist (ex-Bulletin Place).
PS40 came about after Bergquist dabbled in soda making while bartending in New York. When he returned to Sydney he was keen to start his own operation. “I met Michael when I was back here working, and we got along really well, and then we got the idea to combine making soda with a bar,” says Bergquist.
After launching PS Soda and supplying drinks to venues such as Archie Rose, Firedoor and Bennelong, Chiem and Bergquist settled on the location for the bar. “It's a really beautiful space for a bar. Our two business models – the soda factory and the bar – just came together really nicely here,” Chiem says.
Designer Livia Lima kitted out the space. Eschewing the dark aesthetic of many city bars, PS40 has a bright, high-ceilinged interior dominated by bold swathes of black and white. Custom-built stools and tables rest alongside elegant windows facing the bustle of King Street. The soda-making plant sits on a raised platform opposite the long bar.
The bar's taps pour PS Soda's core range – wattle cola; bush tonic; smoked lemonade; and blackstrap ginger – plus a seasonal flavour. There is also beer from Young Henrys and Wayward Brewing. Lo-Fi Wines put together a wine list of around 35 bottles. Its focus is on organic wines from small producers.
A 10-drink cocktail list will change regularly. The initial list includes the Batanga, a mix of wattle cola, green coffee bean-infused tequila, lime and smoked salt. “We'll also have our sodas with suggested serves. Think a really good Cuba Libre or a Dark and Stormy,” says Bergquist.