I was reminiscing yesterday by trawling through some of my old posts both from here and my earlier handcoded efforts, and came across this one from the days when the argument regarding small bars in Sydney was starting to hit fever pitch. Since then, the laws have changed and the small bar scene has exploded. Initially in a few laneways in the city, no doubt trying to capture some sort of Melbournian effect. In recent times they’ve been expanding out.
Newtown has always had a bar or two, particularly Kuletos, nestled among the pubs and regular fare. To be joined eventually by the now missed Soni’s, Madame Fling Flong’s and Corridor – that last used to be a regular haunt years ago when it was a cafe called Has Beans. A year or so back, The Green Room opened on Enmore Rd and things have been gaining pace ever since. The number of bars in Enmore Rd is rapidly approaching double figures with a few opening in recent months.
The most recent opener is Hartsyard a few days ago, though it’s leaning toward good beers (via Harts Pub) and more of a restaurant sort of space. Also in recent days, Waterhorse, has opened, and has had a flash outfit. Bar Racuda opened up a few months ago, as did I think, Midnight Special. Not to mention Ra Bar (which I think used to be a wine bar/cafe called Monal), several months ago, as a tapas bar.
I should also mention that there’s The Wine Plate at the city end of King St, though it looks more like a restaurant space with a long series of tables parallel to the long bar. At the opposite end of King St, down past The Chocolate Dog, there’s bench (and opposite them is The Moose). They’ve taken over the old dining space from Pizza Picasso and have the same owners. It’s a tight, friendly space with some rather nice wine choices. I’ve been there a couple of times now, and on last visit, a mate and I, sat by the windows, spending an entire evening chilling out over several glasses of red, some nice tapas, and finishing off with a stunning muscat, All Saints Rare Rutherglen Muscat. As far as I can tell, bench were selling it close to retail too, as a quick google suggests that I can only get it for $10-15 cheaper at best. That’s the best muscat I’ve had. Ever.