Big is out and small is in when it comes to Sydney’s bar scene. In the wake of Clover Moore’s Small Bar Bill, pint-sized bars and hole in the wall establishments have sprung up all over inner Sydney and are providing a refreshing change to the bigger, established pubs that have dominated the Sydney drinking scene for so long.
The Small Bar Bill, pushed by Clover Moore in 2007, prescribed less exorbitant licensing fees and the provision that Sydney drinking establishments can now serve alcohol without food. The result? Intimate, cosy and discreet bars speckled over the Sydney landscape transforming the city’s drinking culture. Further, the new law has breathed fresh life into Sydney areas that were unable to establish themselves as entertainment precincts due to heavy liquor licensing.
Here’s a few of the best areas in Sydney to discover the delights of the new trend.
Surry Hills. Small bars suits Surry Hills – the eclectic and vibrant suburb of inner Sydney that attracts all walks of life. Smaller establishment, tucked off Crown Street are unpretentious, petite and perfect for a quiet, casual yet chic drinking experience. For the best cosy drinking experience head to the Burton Street triangle where a trio of small bars provides a sophisticated drinking community. Enjoy the funky vibe of Pocket Bar, the warm fire and homely couches of The Commons or a game of ping-pong at Dr. Pong. For those visiting the area and looking for accommodation, Surry Hills offers a range of options.
CBD. The new bill has transformed the CBD drinking culture. After work drinks and nightlife is no longer restricted to the big players in the CBD pub and club world. Tucked away in laneways, side streets and concealed in courtyards, these new establishments offer a more inviting and intimate CBD drinking experience. Grasshopper Bar, in Temperance Lane in the CBD is one such example. Mismatched furniture and drinks served in jam jars give it an eclectic feel.
Darlinghurst. Darlinghurst is enjoying an artistic, cultural and social renaissance – aided by the flotilla of small bars that are springing up in the area. These bars have created a web of funky, hip and cool drinking hot spots. Most of them are tucked away, so finding them (such as Ching-a-lings) is half the fun!