Located in what used to be Tone nightclub, The Soda Factory is a new venture from Experience Entertainment, a nightclub events company responsible for parties like Pure Ivy. But don't let that put you off, because this is a step removed from their other capers. They've stripped the old club and created an elegantly packaged late-night hangout spot in its place.
To get inside, you have to enter what appears to be a hot dog stand called Bobby's Boss Dogs. But it's just a ruse. Pull the handle of the old-time Coke machine and you're in. It’s a one-room venue, and a pretty one at that. The bar's front and centre and surrounding it are exposed brick walls, a market's worth of antique and homemade furniture, a lovely old timber ceiling, a small stage for gigs and a scattering of vintage pin-up pics.
To drink, there's a long wine and beer list amidst a rollcall of classic cocktails like Old Fashioneds, Manhattans, Negronis and Sidecars. Then there's the soda siphons. The Candy Apple Seltzer (rum, caramel syrup, apple juice and lime juice) comes in a vintage siphon and makes for a lot of fun. The spiked spiders, like the Raspberry Float (vodka ice cream, raspberry lemonade and vodka), make for even sillier fun.
Eats, for the moment, are hot dogs, but there are plans for a more extensive menu in the future. There's the Texas Redneck (Bratwurst sausage, smoked chilli, cheese and barbecue sauce) and the Fats Domino (pork sausage, crab gumbo and cheese). Sides of chilli cheese fries and mac and cheese will also help soak up those spiders.
They're going all out to draw a crowd at The Soda Factory. On Monday nights they'll show movies, while on Wednesday nights they'll have acoustic sessions and when the weekend arrives there'll be bands and DJ sets going until morning. Whatever the day, it's worth checking out The Soda Factory. It's the kind of place Surry Hills never even knew it needed.
The Soda Factory
16 Wentworth Avenue, Surry Hills
(02) 8096 9120
Mon to Wed 5pm–late