When the space opposite The Roots cafe in North Sydney’s Elizabeth Plaza became available, owner Brett Conway could see the potential.

“We were looking to do booze and something a bit more substantial for night time, so we snatched it up and we’re doing meat and cheese by the gram,” says Conway. The result is a new bar called – aptly enough – The Roots Next Door, and from Wednesday January 21 it will be in full operation after its soft opening in December. The premise is simple, it’s an intimate space so the wine, cocktail and food menus are intimate too, with a focus on aged and cured meats, imported cheeses and cocktails.

There are around 20 wines on offer (and more in the works) that have been sourced from boutique wineries around Australia, with Conway sampling and selecting the range with a focus on varieties you won’t find in the bottle shop. In addition to the roughly five changing meat and cheese options (including 24-month Serrano) that are sliced and weighed while you watch, the bar snacks include shoestring fries dusted with truffled pecorino cheese, burgers and house-cured biltong. Prosecco hour replaces happy hour, where your glass of prosecco comes with a wedge of cheese.

Cocktails include The Girl Next Door; Don Julio Blanco and Campari topped with grapefruit soda, fresh lime and salt rim. There is also the No Alibi with Belvedere vodka shaken with raspberry-watermelon puree and lemon juice. Previously a cafe, the space was stripped and re-fitted in The Roots style, including a neon Next Door sign. Between The Roots and The Roots Next Door, these guys have taken over the arcade, staking a claim with patches of atsro-turf and white wicker garden chairs. The cafe uses the bar to extend seating and space by day, but from noon it operates as The Roots Next Door bar offering drinks, and from 4pm the bar menu is on. Looks like these roots were ready to spread.

The Roots Next Door
Shop 8, 2 Elizabeth Plaza
Mount Street, North Sydney (under the Greenwood bridge)

Opening Hours
Wed to Fri noon–10pm