Seven new Sydney bars you really need to know about

Sydney bar culture is such an ever-changing landscape that is still continuing to thrive and adapt no matter how much the government tries to destroy it, and 2016 should no exception when it comes to new and exciting bars, either perfecting trends, creating new ones, or just reviving old ones. Early 2016 already saw the likes of Potts Point’s Jangling Jacks and CBD laneway bar Easy Eight, and they are well worth tripping over yourself for, adding greatly to the following list of essential drinking holes that have popped up in the past few months. Below are seven new bars you really need to be across.

Restaurant Hubert (CBD)

Hook: Old world French style restaurant and bar
Address: 15 Bligh St, Sydney
Social Media: Instagram

A new opening from Swillhouse Group (Shady Pines, The Baxter Inn, Frankie’s Pizza) doesn’t come around to often; the hospitality group do seem like patient perfectionists, seeing that they have given Sydney some of the city’s most iconic, world-renowned venues in, well, forever. They scooped up Dan Pepperell of industry favourite 10 William Street to head up the kitchen for Restaurant Hubert, which opened just two weeks ago, who has put forth an old-world French style menu that includes everything from clams and fried cheese to big, juicy steaks and tomato tarts. The restaurant itself has already received rave reviews, attracts a big wait on weekends, and is heralded as a truly magnificent addition to Sydney’s dining scene, but there are also two bars slotted in this ambitious venue. One is part of the restaurant and the other has more of a casual, drop-in feel. It’s here where you’ll find a carefully crafted bar menu with classic cocktails, a respectable beer list, and a comprehensive selection of wines, most of which are French. This is the new ‘it’ restaurant and bar of Sydney, and once you step through that big wooden door off Blight Street and navigate your way down to the action you’ll immediately see why.

PS40 (CBD)

Photo Credit: Alana Dimou

Hook: Hand-crafted sodas used to create unique cocktails
Address: 40 King Street, Sydney
Social Media: Facebook

The city’s King Street has seen a little revival with small bars lately, with the excellent The Swinging Cat and Work in Progress bars now well established as heavy hitters in the scene. Now this street’s string of bars has only gotten stronger with PS40, presenting as a 60-seat cocktail bar from Michael Chiem of Lobo Plantation and Thor Bergquist of Bulletin Place.

““We’re setting it up as a cocktail bar, but there won’t be a focus on any one spirit category – we’re not going to be a rum bar or a tequila bar – we’re focusing on producing quality drinks,” Chiem commented to Broadsheet, also adding that instead of beer, there is a range of craft sodas complementing what looks to be a microbrewery-esque look.

Having it’s own soda making function is certainly a unique position for the bar, and Sydneysiders have already gotten a taste of what the team are capable of, as their “PS Sodas have already appeared in venues like Archie Rose Distillery and Bennelong. They’ll be supplying more restaurants and bars with their craft sodas after PS40 is established, offering flavours such as wattle cola, bush tonic, and smoked lemonade.

Easy Eight (CBD)

A photo posted by Easy Eight (@easy8diner) on

Hook: Vintage soul good, vintage soul music, and a World of Warcraft Old Fashioned from the team behind Mojo’s Record Bar, in the same laneway as The Barber Shop and The Baxter Inn.
Address: 52-156 Clarence St, Sydney.
Social Media: Facebook

That famous laneway housing The Barber Shop and The Baxter Inn is now the scene of a trifecta, completed by Easy Eight, a new opening from the same crew behind Mojo Record Bar. It’s a cocktail bar and a stylish diner all in the same, soundtracked by a playlist of Motown and gospel singers, framed by tour photography of artist’s like Dianna Ross and The Supremes. It’s not far off from Mojo’s rock aesthetic, but with smoother edges inspired by vintage soul, an aesthetic that extends to the Cajun-leaning food menu of whole smoked rainbow trout, mini pumpkin with pumpkin puree and sour cream, Cuban sandwiches, smoked brisket, and lobster mac ‘n’ cheese. There’s also some maple ice cream served in a waffle should you want to indulge. The menu was put together by Harry Stockdale-Powell who used to work at Brass, Rockpool, and Marque, so yes, the food is in very good hands.

The space seats around 60 so you can get nice and cosy while digging into a cocktail menu that includes a signature Georgia Sweet Tea with vodka and tea syrup, mixed up with lemon juice, kaffir lime leaves, and ginger ale, and the very curious WOW 87, which pays homage to all those cool kids who reached level 87 on World of Warcraft with a Banana Rum Old Fashioned and banana chips.

Having The Baxter Inn and The Barbershop within arms reach of the bar makes a nice little, contained bar crawl trail which you can go ‘head and try whenever you want seeing as Easy Eight is now open for business.

Jangling Jacks (Potts Point)

Hook: Late-night cocktails and friend chicken, with Kings Cross station only a stone’s throw away.
Address: 175 Victoria Street, Potts Point
Social Media: Instagram

Walk up to the spotted gum bar at new hotspot Jangling Jacks and order up some signature fried chicken; expect good things because the kitchen is handled with style by ex-Fat Ruperts champ David Ferreira, who was trained in the creole style and drizzles his servings of crispy friend greatness with honey butter. While you wait for that heap of friend chicken to come out, browse the curated list of cocktails and spirits, which has some quality names like Four Pillars Gin and West Winds to a selection of single malt whiskys and blends amongst other spirits.

The bar is managed by ex-Hazy Rose mixologist Adam Cork who oversees these spirits being twisted into classic cocktails with little twists here and there, like The Witch of Kings Cross or The Tiki’s Hummingbird, which you can sip on while sitting back and soaking up the blues-y, vintage atmosphere that is helped along by eclectic, smart design.

They’ve aimed this to be a local favourite, and by all accounts, they’ve gotten it exactly right. You’ll be a regular in no time.

Fat Angel (Surry Hills)


Hook: Grilled seafood plates and Caramel Vodka cocktails
Address: 512 Elizabeth Street, Surry Hills
Social Media: Facebook

This zesty bar near the corner of Cleveland and Elizabeth Streets is all kinds of cool with a graceful mix of Mediterranean flavour and New York cool, shaping up to become quite the player on the scene with cocktails using high quality, boutique liquors (try the Passion Delight with Carvo Caramel Vodka), as well as a chunky menu of grilled seafood, burgers (with Turkish buns), polenta chips, and Greek food.

Owner Randy Kakos comes from the same family which owns and operates neighbouring gem Lorento Pizzeria and Bondi mainstay Old Castile, so there’s no question when it comes to hospitality here, aimed at a high standard of customer service so guests can really switch off and actually enjoy sipping their way through the cocktail menu, the curated wine list, and the selection of imported beers.

Mistelle (Double Bay)

Photo Credit: Jason Loucas

Hook: Double Bay’s new Parisian wine bar
Address: 16 Kiaora Ln, Double Bay
Social Media: Instagram

Mistelle opened a few months ago in the new Kiaora Lane development at Double Bay, adding it’s own character to the increasingly popular precinct, offering up Mediterranean style share plates to go along with a heavy focus on wine (what else?). Unique wines from around the world have been sourced for this venue by Alicia Wadsworth, who has imagined and executed a decently sized, 100-seated wine bar with indoor and outdoor sitting so guests can soak up the intimate atmosphere while exploring more than a few slices of the finer sides of Europe.

The food, by Head Chef Frederick Booms, features fresh sustainable seafoods, grass-fed meats, local and international cured meats, and cheese (of course) to serve up alongside a very extensive, and ever-evolving wine list that’s coupled with an equally impressive cocktail menu.

Burrow Bar (CBD)

A photo posted by Burrow Bar (@burrow_bar) on

Hook: Cyclical hand-crafted cocktail on a menu which changes weekly
Address: De Mestre Place (near Wynyard Station)
Social Media: Instagram

Burrow Bar is one of the city’s newest small drinking holes hidden just off George Street near Wynyard Station on De Mestre Place. It’s the kind of bar you accidentally stumble upon one night and then brag about to all your friends the following day, after the hangover subsides of course. Though, the hangovers won’t be nearly as mean here, as the handcrafted cocktails focus on using fresh, seasonal as well as house-made ingredients for you to sit and sip against those lovely sandstone walls that illustrate the warm interior.

Grab a Baby Reuben Double, sit on one of those plush chairs, and take in whatever cocktails happen to be on the menu at the time of your visit. One of the best things about this bar is that they re so confident in their consistency (it’s too early to tell if that confidence is justified but all sign point to yes) that the menu changes regularly, with the previous weeks creations moving onto a “Just Can’t Get Enough” list. It’s a good idea to keep those creative juices flowing.

Headline image: PS40 by Alana Dimou


This content has recently been ported from its original home on The AU Review: Food & Lifestyle and may have formatting errors – images may not be showing up, or duplicated, and galleries may not be working. We are slowly fixing these issue. If you spot any major malfunctions making it impossible to read the content, however, please let us know at editor AT

Chris Singh

Chris Singh is an Editor-At-Large at the AU review, loves writing about travel and hospitality, and is partial to a perfectly textured octopus. You can reach him on Instagram: @chrisdsingh.