You can't check in and you won't find the menu online. There’s no website, though there is a low-key Instagram account. If the owners had their way, you wouldn’t be able to Google their new venue at all.
Orlan Erin Raleigh opened Jangling Jack’s with partner Jon Ruttan (ex-Mojo Record Bar). “We wanted it to feel like it’s always been here and you just unearthed it.”
Ruttan and Raleigh share a love of music, film and art. Ruttan fronts what he calls, “The most unsuccessful band in rock‘n’roll”, garage-punk band, Bunt (“we’re kind of like The Cramps but not as good, obviously”). Raleigh is a painter.
“The bar is so important. It’s exactly 1100 centimetres by 30 centimetres, the perfect fit for a bar. When you lean on it, it’s exactly the right height. We really want people to spend time at the bar.”
Previously Bootleg Meatballs, the space was redesigned by the duo. The bar is made of wood from a spotted gum, hand-finished by artist Dan Hollier. Raleigh designed the Victorian-style lampshades, which throw a dim, greenish light over everything, from the leather-lined booths to the mismatched patterned rugs. It’s unpretentious, and feels lived-in and authentic, the sort of place you’d go on a fourth date. Vintage concert posters and album artwork fill the walls. “This area has a history, we’ve tried to stay true to that,” says Raleigh.
The wine list is short but carefully selected by Ruttan and Raleigh. Many cocktails on offer are reimagined versions of classics, such as the Trinidad Sour, a spicy, savoury drink containing an entire shot of bitters with Bulleit Rye, lemon and orgeat (an almond syrup). Another standout is Kiki’s Hummingbird, Milagro Silver Tequila with fresh lime, orange-blossom honey and a sherbert rim.
The menu is approachable, brasserie style, with dishes such as king salmon ceviche with pickled eschalot and preserved citrus sitting comfortably alongside classics including steak frites. The standout is JJ’s Fried Chicken, drenched in honey and butter but retaining a high level of crunch. “It’s KFC on crack,” laughs Ruttan.
175 Victoria Street, Potts Point
Tue & Wed 4pm–11pm
Thu to Saturday 4pm–1am