If you want obscure, sometimes-strange craft beer in Pyrmont, head to the Quarryman’s Hotel on Harris Street. If you want cocktails served on a rooftop that’s more Californian desert than inner-city Sydney, also go to the Quarryman’s Hotel, but two levels up at the newly opened rooftop bar.

Offering two different experiences was precisely what business partners Arthur Laundy and Patrick Maguire were going for. “My idea of a good pub is a place that has something for everyone,” says Maguire. “Each part of the bar has its own personality. It’s a bit rough and tumble downstairs, and upstairs it’s nicer, prettier.”

The rooftop – which once served as accommodation in the pub’s actual hotel days – has been totally overhauled, and yet it still retains some of its homey past. Plush couches and mid-century coffee tables are huddled around an original fireplace; there’s a dusty-pink colour scheme, bold artwork and a breezy feel; and the tonal timber floors are covered with worn Persian rugs thrown here and there. The round wooden tables and the DJ booth – a pale pink box with large round portholes that provide a view to DJs spinning vinyl – are the few features that indicate the rooftop is actually a bar.

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But walk onto the sunny verandah, with views of the CBD peeking over one of Pyrmont’s stately wool store buildings, and you’re unmistakeably in a bar. A mix of high and low tables with white tile tops dot the area, and a garden of cacti and succulents frames the space.

It’s a great spot for a glass of French rosé or an apple-cider slushie made with cloudy cider, house-made honey syrup and Young Henrys beer. Have it with the pickle fried chicken burger or one of the many Tex Mex-inspired shared plates. There are soft-shell tacos, tortillas with a chunky guacamole.

“It’s primarily a bar, but we’ve got a full dinner menu with pub dishes like chicken parmigiana and a good schnitty, as well as American-inspired eats,” says Maguire. One example is the hot wings with blue-cheese sauce.

The ideal accompaniment to the chicken is, of course, beer. And while upstairs has four taps plus a range of approachable bottled beers (such as Peroni), it’d be better if you head downstairs so you can choose one of the 30 beers they’re pouring from taps.

Summer in Pyrmont is looking up.

The Rooftop
214–216 Harris Street, Pyrmont
(02) 9660 0560

Wed to Sun 12pm-late


This article first appeared on Broadsheet on September 11, 2018. Menu items may have changed since publication.