Fringe Bar has been a reliable Paddington watering hole over the years. Best known for its Monday comedy nights and Saturday flea markets, Fringe has also been a comfortable mid-week staging post for weary locals. And so when it was shuttered earlier this year, a lot of folks got nervous.
But fear not, because Fringe is back – and this time it has really been given a spruce. Gone are the dark tones and those crazy chandeliers. Remaining is a clean and airy space with some odd design touches. There are newly tiled floors, slanting shelves housing books and records, old record covers pasted to supporting beams and a scattering of pot plants.
All the usual suspects are on tap at the shiny new bar, as well as more interesting brews such as McLaren Vale Dry. The wine list is worth a look and has drops from France, Italy, NZ and Australia. Cocktails lean towards the super-sweet pub side with ridiculous names to match, but they can fix you a simple mix should you wish.
The bistro has been overhauled as well, but it's still all about pub staples like chicken parmas, fish and chips and cheeseburgers. For those who enjoy great slabs of meat, there's an impressive list of steaks. Bar snacks like nachos and devil wings also make for good drinking food.
Fringe's makeover hasn't been at the expense of the things that put it on the map in the first place. Monday comedy nights are back, as are the Saturday flea markets. Live music and trivia nights will also draw punters. Whether Fringe regains its mojo remains to be seen, but the things that made it noteworthy have been preserved, which is always a good start.
106 Oxford Street, Paddington
(02) 9360 7994
Mon to Thurs 11am–midnight
Fri & Sat 11am–3am