It’s become a bit of a local legend that owners Phil and Olga Cahill had to fight the council to open Honey Rider without compromising their plans. The council wanted the team to include a smoking room at the front of the venue to stop congestion on the footpath, but the Cahills were adamant that their bar would be smoke free. In the end, the council capitulated and the pocket-sized, smoke-free Honey Rider was born.
Named as a nod to the 1960s 007 Bond character Honey Ryder, this certainly is a bar for dangerous trysts. It’s a tiny little mod/retro mix of a venue, filled with vintage kitsch among modern touches (look for the upside-down pot plants).
The menus are tucked into old theatre programs, there’s raw brick, vintage 60s couches and even some kitchenalia dotted about.
The bar down the front is full of helpful advice if you’re choosing from the well-rounded wine list. But if you’re channelling the original Bond movies, then the cocktails are the way to go. The Bramble (a playful mix of gin, berries, lemon and rock candy syrup) brings back memories of berry icy-poles and summer, while Negronis and Vesper Martinis (Bond’s real drink of choice) are ideal for striking that soulful pose.
Honey Rider is neatly tucked into the Military Road strip, amid the gentle spread of the Neutral Bay dining precinct. Don’t blink or you’ll miss its tiny brick frontage, but once you’re in, we recommend staying for one of their pizzas and a few more drinks.