Mosman Rowers – which is tucked into Mosman Bay and has uninterrupted water views – is one of Sydney’s oldest sports clubs (the harbourfront venue opened in 1911). But it was forced to shut in 2018 after a couple of tough years.
Club members and hospitality group Bird and Bear (Foys, Sandy Bear and The Flying Bear Cafe) stepped in and took it over. The Rowers reopened in March 2019. Just over two weeks after its return, a fire at the club threatened to destroy the place. Luckily, the blaze was controlled and the club reopened not long afterwards. Locals were happy to have it back: it’s a beautiful spot for a couple of drinks smack-bang on the water.
The new iteration of Mosman Rowers is schmick and split across three levels. At the bottom is Archie Bear, for all-day dining, afternoon drinks and 270-degree views from inside as well as on the deck. The Rower’s Bar, in the middle, also has a balcony and serves all-day drinks and food; while up top is the Member’s Gallery, a function space and meeting room.
The focus for the redesign was on maintaining the heritage while lightening things up by introducing a palette of blue and green. New timber floors were introduced too. The Rower’s Bar, which seats 102 people, has a deep, rich colour scheme honouring the building’s nautical past and harbour location.
The menus are fairly simple. Archie Bear has all the typical suspects: traditional cheeseburgers, burgers with the lot, pizzas, fish and chips, salads. It’s a great community eatery. The breakfast menu includes acai bowls, mueslis and green breakfast bowls. Spritzes, sangria and a Pimm’s-and-ginger-ale jug all feature on the drinks list. Riot rosé is on tap, and most wines come by the glass.