2017 has been a big ol’ year for Sydney’s bar scene, as we welcome a huge array of excellent new drinking spots. From craft brewpubs to luxe rooftop spots, the past twelve months has spawned some truly cracking new venues to add to your hit-list. We’ve shared the highlights as they’ve launched each month – now, here’s what we’re calling Sydney’s best bar openings of 2017. How many have you visited so far?
Endeavour opened the doors to its hotly-anticipated Tap Rooms at the start of 2017, to the delight of craft beer lovers across the city. The brewery, bar and restaurant boasts a cracking location in The Rocks, its taps pouring crafty house brews, ciders and boutique wines. Expect contemporary share plates from the kitchen and a modern riff on Art Deco styling throughout.
Bistro Moncur’s Woollahra outpost welcomed a smart new addition in Bar Moncur – a stylishly-appointed cocktail lounge where seasonality reigns supreme. Here, against a sophisticated backdrop, the clever cocktail offering proves just as much a treat for that after-dinner tipple, as when paired with the kitchen’s modernised French fare.
With its luxe getup, well-heeled crowd and stunning views across the CBD and Sydney Harbour, The Hyatt Regency’s new rooftop bar, Zephyr, is most definitely dressed to impress. An incredible line-up of aperitifs and digestifs mark this one as ideal for both pre- and post-dinner libations, while the range of signature cocktail creations proves every bit as memorable as the outlook.
Setting up shop in the heart of Surry Hills, Fonzarelli’s is a rollicking, good-times nod to 1950’s USA, complete with swinging tunes and retro memorabilia. The kitchen’s doing excellent things with some classic American flavours, while the bar’s got you covered with a hefty range of craft beers and memorable 50’s-themed signature cocktails.
The group behind Eau De Vie and Melbourne’s Boilermaker House this year gifted us with Mjølner – a whisky bar and carvery for the modern viking, named after Thor’s hammer. The team’s transformed a former tobacco factory into a contemporary feasting destination, complete with upscale, meat-focused menu and a mind-boggling collection of whisky, sourced from around the world.
A speedy refurb transformed the long-standing Sugar Mill into The Potts Point Hotel, with the Darlinghurst Road space now rocking a sleeker fit-out, a craftier drinks offering and a menu headed by a top-notch range of smoked meats. Management has held onto the institutional Tranny Bingo Thursdays (now called Gender Bender Bingo), only now there’s a spiffier space and range of twisted classic cocktails to round out the experience.
This Newtown record store bar not only combines two of life’s greatest pleasures, it lets punters select the tunes they want to listen to. Having set up shop on King Street, DeepGroove is an intimate little drinking spot, where you can pop in for a tipple, choose some vinyl for the turntable and kick back to a soundtrack of your choosing. Don’t miss happy hour, which runs from 5-7pm daily.
Alexandria’s new warehouse haunt Bar No.5 has comitted to a low-waste ethos by championing seasonality and top-quality local ingredients. It’s a supremely comfy neighbourhood gem, offering a share-friendly menu and a slew of punchy signature cocktails, to be enjoyed while kicking back to some great live tunes.
Three Bottle Man is Bulletin Place’s sophisticated new drinking and dining destination, promising to rock your tastebuds and quench your thirst for adventure. It slips from a cafe by day, to a bar by night, serving only drinks crafted here in Australia. Chow down on vibrant bites from the daily-changing menu, whilst getting acquainted with some of our country’s finest homegrown sips.
A bar, function space and all-day eatery rolled into one, Sneaky Possum ticks plenty of boxes. As far as comfy watering holes go, the Chippendale space is a winner, with its laidback looks and cracking selection of craft beers, Aussie wines and clever signature cocktails. There are murals by local artists, a room of old-school arcade games and a smart array of drinking snacks on offer until late.
One very welcome addition to Redfern’s boozing scene this year was Bart Jr – a cosy bar and eatery named after the suburb’s most notorious feline and his many offspring. From some of the minds behind Scout’s Honour and Morris, it’s got an oft-changing menu of top-notch eats, alongside interesting wines, local craft beers and some sensational signature cocktail creations.
The legends that brought you Mary’s and The Unicorn Hotel have taken over The Lansdowne, with an eye to creating one of Sydney’s hottest new live music venues. The two-storey boozer’s plating up a solid line-up of laidback pub fare, with late-night eats served until 2am, while the bar’s pouring Aussie wines and local craft brews. All that, as the cranking downstairs band room plays host to a fab assortment of gigs throughout the week.
The iconic Newtown Social Club poured its last ever drink, to be replaced by Holey Moley – a two-storey bar and 18-hole mini golf course, complete with arcade games, an outdoor beer garden, and a whole host of fun signature cocktails. It’s gold if you’re looking to shake up your usual date night game, or for a twist on that group drinking session.
Once exclusively for guests, the poolside rooftop bar at Primus Hotel is now open to the public and it’s the ultimate al fresco drinking spot. Up here at Level Seven, you’ll find a luxe, New York-style escape – a place where the drinks list stars cocktail popsicles and Veuve Clicquot, the CBD views are stellar and weekend DJ sets will find you grooving from afternoon to night.
The legends behind Earl’s Juke Joint have a new brainchild in fun new Tiki bar, Jacoby’s, drawing more than a little inspiration from Twin Peaks’ David Lynch. The Enmore space is dark and moody, and the drinks are slick, the rum-heavy cocktail list running from classic Tiki creations to clever remixes. Throw in a healthy selection of natural wine and you’ve got a seriously good night out.
Sydney finally has a haunt dedicated to one of history’s greatest pairings, with Wings and Tins opening in Darlinghurst. As the name suggests, this is your new go-to for scoffing Buffalo wings and slamming cans, and it’s fast become a favourite for its house-made sauces and truly epic beer fridge. Score $5 tinnies during happy hour and half-price wings each Wednesday.
This year, the Potts Point space once home to the iconic Hugo’s was given a new lease on life, reincarnated as the sophisticated Flamingo Lounge. All Miami glam styling and luxe party vibes, this lounge bar and discotheque has already proved a late-night favourite. Don’t miss the dance-worthy Sneaky Sundays, featuring a killer mix of tunes by Sneaky Sound System’s Connie Mitchell and Black Angus.
At Frenchies bistro and brewery, a pair of French natives are combining their shared love of Parisian-style fare, fresh craft beer and fun, into one ultra-charming Rosebery operation. The food menus are centred around seasonal Aussie produce, while a range of excellent house beers include drops like a German-style Kölsch and an old-world IPA.
An all-day operation from the same team behind Tuxedo, Sir Allen Taylor & Co. has set up shop in one of Darlinghurst’s buzziest corners. Here, nighttime eats take the form of easy drinking snacks, the soundtrack is fun and funky, and of course, the line-up of Espresso Martinis is top-notch. Expect a fresh, classy little drinking spot.
Surry Hills’ unique new venue Soul Trap is both a small bar and a millinery workshop, inspired by the owner’s own foray into hat-making. It’s a cosy haunt, where the lighting’s moody, the menu leans to French-style drinking fare, and a signature cocktail list is well worth writing home about. Expect a soundtrack of exclusively retro tunes and a collection of mistelle that’s downright impressive.
Just in time for those sweet summer afternoons, Sydney welcomed a leafy new rooftop bar dedicated to rosé. Dubbed The Fernery, it’s a sunny spot in the heart of Mosman, featuring a lush garden terrace, a special gin room and a restaurant menu centred around dishes from the wood-fire Josper grill.