Step over the pile of fixed gear bikes and past the bearded über swede in the crochet poncho, brush the past shoulder length hair out of your way, push in beside the tall, skinny cat, in tight jeans and a fur stole at a darkly lacquered bar covered in graffiti, some inspired, a lot not. You have arrived at the Flinders Hotel, now under new management.
While things do look as though a hipster bomb has gone off, don’t be put off if you’ve opted out of following the global fashion lead of trust fund babies channeling Kerouac in Williamsburg, beyond the shadow of Manhattan and her towers of finance. The Flinders delivers in wonderful, daggy charm.
Everything comes in a rocks glass or bamboo, but don’t let this apparent lack of polish fool you. The Laird’s Applejack Sour, a rarity on Sydney streets & the Nuclear Daiquiri were polished and supreme. The herby hint of my favourite green liqueur, Chartreuse, making this my fast favourite drink in the limits of this city.
A pleasant surprise on the other side of the bar, with the ladies outnumbering the men, perhaps the rarest experience in the Australian bar scene, especially at the pointy end where good drinks matter.
Arrive early if you want to carve your name for poserity or posterity. Arrive later if you’re looking for a achingly cool crowd and some of the coolest tunes I’ve run into this year. A 5 am closing means coming much later, when there simply are no other options is also on the cards.
I’ve heard talk of a boutique hotel and restaurant to open upstairs too.
63 Flinders St, Darlinghurst NSW 2010, Australia (02) 9356 3622
On Google Maps here.