Sydney has finally got some decent small bars. It started with the bars out back of Lotus and the Bayz, but now they’re popping up all over.
The Crown/Burton triangle has been the epicentre for a while with Pocket, Dr Pong & Pond. For the new action, cross the street, sidestep the junkies and walk ten metres down Foley St to Shady Pines.
Down six steps lies a mix between hipster cool, old-timey saloon and new age Sydney small bar. Set up at the bar and order anything simple, classic and with the dark spirits. Rum Sazeracs and Old Fashioneds, Whisky Sours, Juleps and if there is any Chartreuse behind the bar, a frolic through the Daisies.
Coopers Malt in a can lies, cooling in an enamel tub behind the bar. Cocktail nerds like me will love the selection of Bourbon that stretches from hard-to-find to never seen. The Mexico;la isn’t so much cocktail sensation as it is enigma, or the beginning of the end, depending on where you sit.
There’s no cocktail list, and I get the feeling that while they’re thinking about one, there never might be.
This is a great place to head with a crowd, camp around one of the tables on the floor, eat your weight in peanuts and after about 30 drinks, start up a conversation with the wooden Indian in the corner.
30mls Tequila, juice of half a lime, a healthy shake of the tabasco bottle. combine in a highball over crushed ice and top with coke. Rim the glass with salt before you did any of that and drink it like you were mad enough to order it.
Shop 5, 256 Crown St
On Google Maps here. The 256 Crown St address isn’t exactly the most helpful direction. The bar is actually through a door and down five steps on Foley St, a shady alley. Keep an eye out for the printed A4 sign in the window