Just when you thought Foley Street couldn't get any boozier, along comes Hello Sailor, the laneway's new nautically themed bar and eatery. It joins Darlie Laundromatic, Shady Pines Saloon and Pocket Bar in the drinking corridor below Oxford Street, and is helmed by Marco Faraone and Mike Edkins (founders of Island Bar) and bartender Luke Redington (ex-Eau De Vie).
Look for the bouncer, because signage is entirely absent. Inside, the theme is quickly apparent: there are life preservers, knotted ropes, model yachts, ship flags and the odd pirate sword. The best seat in the house is an old canoe, which has been halved to form two couches. It sits in front of a porthole, which shows Finding Nemo on a continuous loop. The bar is covered in lovely, sturdy timber and looking over it is a feature wall with pictures of sailors and a few stern-faced Hemingway portraits.
To drink, try an Anchor Steam Liberty Ale or a Lord Nelson Three Sheets. They also have a surprisingly good Italian-accented wine list. Cocktail-wise, the Piña Colada (made with Sailor Jerry spiced rum) is the way to go. An Army Navy is also worth a look, with gin, lemon, almond and orange blossom, while the Billy Bob features bourbon, sloe berries, apricot, lime and pomegranate.
Upstairs in the eatery (which is actually at Oxford Street level), there is more maritime kitsch, as well as communal tables and some pastel green booths. Amidst standards like fish and chips, calamari and fish burgers, there are fancier flourishes, like oysters topped with shallots and a raspberry vinaigrette. Non-seafood highlights include spicy chicken wings and the panigacci (a Tuscan bread cooked in terracotta over charcoal).
Hello Sailor has anchored in an area with no shortage of fun places to get your drink on. The theme isn't subtle (and the sailor suit-clad waitresses are a bit much), but it's all in good fun. So if you're looking for somewhere to spend your shore leave, dock at Hello Sailor.
96 Oxford Street (entry via Foley Street), Darlinghurst
(02) 8354 0057
Tue to Sun 5pm–1am