In 2007 Gregory Llewellyn of Hartsyard wore a pair of blue jeans on a first date with Naomi Hart in New York City. The date went well; eight years (and two children) later, those jeans have been repurposed to upholster a bar stool at the couple’s second Enmore Road venture, The Gretz.
Llewellyn's jeans are one of 40 pairs, donated by friends, family and lenders, that now cover probably the most comfortable bar stools in town. As Naomi Hart puts it, “I thought it was a nice way to thank all the people that helped us get this bar.” Worn denim seating and a commitment to table service result in somewhere you can stay awhile.
Primarily, it's a bar. But there is a small food offering with a short menu that shifts the focus away from the meatier offering of Hartsyard, to seafood. It’s something Llewellyn noticed missing after he and Hart relocated from NYC to Sydney in 2010. As Hart describes, “He was really surprised when he moved here, [saying] ‘I don't understand, your [Australian] seafood is so fantastic, how come there are no oyster bars?’”
Along with oysters (cold or hot), the regularly changing menu might feature shrimp cocktails, clams casino or house-made salmon jerky, as well as non-seafood items such as scotch olives.
The cocktail list is equal parts originals and classics and a short wine list offers options that work equally well on their own, or as a complement to the seafood. Beers on tap come from Yulli's Brews and The Grifter.
Ashley Couch, the New York-based designer also behind Hartsyard, drew inspiration from the menu when it came to the fit-out. “She knew [Llewellyn] was going on a seafood bent so she took a bit of inspiration from that. The lights as you walk in the door faintly resemble a fishing net. And then there are the ropes that are holding up the shelves,” describes Hart. Not that it feels at all nautical themed. “In terms of the space being long and slender, that's quite typical [of bars] in the East Village of New York.”
Though it’s only a few blocks from Hartsyard, Hart describes it as a “happy accident” that The Gretz ended up so close. “We really love our area. We knew we weren’t going to be competing with Hartsyard, we were going to be offering something different.”
125 Enmore Road, Enmore
Tue to Fri 4pm–midnight