The Sailor Bar & Kitchen
The Sailor Bar & Kitchen is a nautical-themed spot where gin and cocktails come first and food comes second. It’s a cosy neighbourhood haunt filled with maritime memorabilia. There’s a ship wheel donated by a friend of owners Kieran Fitsall and Rob Stevens, a donated sailor’s uniform, and a feature wall of black-and-white photos gifted by locals – a collection of local navy history and memories.
Previously called Hello Sailor, the venue was already an established cafe, restaurant and bar in one. When Fitsall and Stevens (who are both British) took over, they set out to give it a clear identity. They turned it into a night-time destination by installing mood lighting, building wooden shelves to display their impressive selection of gin, and changing the menu to highlight food designed for sharing (and suited to drinking). There’s an outdoor area with high and low tables, a comfy couch and heaters, and the bar’s front windows open all the way, making the inside feel outside on warm evenings.
Given the owners’ English background, introducing a Sunday roast was never even a question. And theirs has all the trimmings, Yorkshire pudding included. Traditional scotch-fillet beef is always on offer, but you can also choose from chicken, pork and lamb roasts on alternate Sundays (there’s a vegetarian option too). Outside of Sunday lunches, the sharing menu features pork, beef and haloumi sliders; barramundi bites served with tomato and avocado salsa; soft-shell tacos; and smoked chicken wings with a Sriracha and yoghurt dip.
The food might be worth a visit, but the drinks menu does most of the talking. Those overwhelmed by the nine-page gin list (predominantly featuring gins from small-batch Aussie distilleries, plus some international varieties) can opt for a gin flight, which gives you a small taste of three different types – served with all the garnishes. On the cocktail front there are Gold Star Quarantinis made with honey and lemon gin; Drunken Sailors featuring two types of gin; and the rose petal-adorned Pink Suburbia – the bar’s top-selling cocktail.