Walking into MoshPit is like walking into the lair of a music-lover in the ’90s. Posters from Sonic Youth and Dead Kennedys gigs plaster a long midnight-blue wall at the entry, and at the back of the room, amateur bands play the house down twice a week.
“You get a lot of people coming in here looking at the wall and saying, ‘I was at that gig’,” says Pete “Wax” Dures. “It’s a walk down memory lane,” says Pat Jones.
Both music aficionados and old friends, Dures and Jones opened MoshPit as an homage to their respective eras of music. Jones was a follower of the ska movement in the UK, while Dures was into local Australian and international acts in the ’90s. “As soon as I could get into a pub, I would go and watch local bands play,” says Dures.
“We thought, ‘If we owned a bar in the nineties, what would we want?’” he says. MoshPit was the answer.
MoshPit is reminiscent of Newtown’s grittier days, before lockout laws drove all-night clubbing crowds west from Kings Cross. “We love this end of King Street,” says Jones. “It’s more local and it’s got kind of a chilled-out vibe. A lot of people say it feels like the old Newtown.”
The “rocktails” are familiar drinks with MoshPit names like the Gut Settler and the Moshjito. The wine list is approachable and affordable, and a regular rotation of inner west brews (Willie the Boatman, Wayward, Young Henrys) is on tap.
The space is small but not cramped. The long bar, crafted by Dures from Australian railway sleepers, occupies the front half of the room. At the back are a few tables and seats. On Thursdays and Sundays, furniture is pushed aside to make way for the music. The pair fitted the ceilings and walls with acoustic tiles to placate neighbours outside and to perfect the sound inside.
“We once had a jazz band in here,” says Dures. “Mostly it’s local punk, rock, dirty blues acts. The kind of music we really like.” On Monday and Tuesday you can watch old movies or bring in your own vinyl to play on the turntables.
642A King Street, Newtown
Mon to Sun 1pm–12am