Month: February 2012

Harry knocks a ton

Global icon Harry’s New York Bar (Paris) recently celebrated its 100th birthday – a fine notch for a venue that’s lived through two World Wars, seen countless local developments and hosted some of last century’s most famous faces.

The story began in 1911 when US jockey Tod Sloan acquired it and with the help of his friend Clancey, a Manhattan bar owner, and set about creating a unique American bar in Paris. The duo embarked on a mad-house scheme to dismantle Clancey’s NY bar and rebuild it the French capital. Clancey, it is said, was determined to escape the draconian restrictions that were being forced upon the alcohol industry in the US, and so the pair made good their dream and relocated some 5,800km away.

Parched March Kicks Off at The Winery!

Sydney’s month-long charity bar odyssey is back for the third year running – and it’ll be our biggest celebration yet. Parched March 2012 will pack the month with an exciting calendar of activity and entertainment in Sydney’s bars. The good times for a good cause just won’t stop coming.

There are more exciting venues involved, more events to join in and more excuses to have a great drink, so grab a team and sign up now.

Editor’s Pick – Hangin’ in Hobart

It had been many years since my last visit to our southern most capital city and to be honest I didn’t know what to expect as I generally get zero information come across my desk about Tassie bars. It’s a city that in 11 years I don’t believe has ever had a Bar Awards finalist and frankly I can’t remember the last time I even spoke to Tasmanian bar person? What was going on down there? Is anyone doing great things or is it just a quiet country town by the sea pushing cappuccinos and Cascade? Amy and I decided it was time to head down and have a few kids-free days and see for us what is or isn’t happening in Hobart and get this question answered!


This new bar & café is looking set to revolutionize the Chippendale area. Up for offer is a mix of well crafted cocktails, imported and local wines, draft brews and bar food to match. The Freda’s crew make regular jaunts to the Sydney fish market and Flemington markets in order to source the best and most interesting produce around. Billing their service as ‘sharp yet simple’ they aim to give customers incomparable food and drink.

Why I have a problem with cocktails in a cask

Vodka Mojito in a bottle? Yep, you heard it right. This is just one of a slew of offerings from drinks companies in a new category called the ‘ready to serve’ mixed drink! Don’t be confused with the RTD ‘ready to drink’ category that we all know (and many like myself despise) as the RTD focuses on alcoholic mixed drinks in a single serve bottle. RTDs have been around for decades and the stats tell us that Aussies love them.

Cerbaco to tour the nation

Cerbaco is hosting Mr Gerard Chaussee, General Manager of Verdrenne, in a action packed four day/ 4 state tour of the nation.

US Marines to take Darwin bars

It might be raising political eyebrows, but plans to station US Marines in Darwin could spell a financial windfall for local bars, and potential operators. From mid-2012 the first installment of troops will arrive and by 2017 will reach over 2500.

Sydney’s Kings Cross thrived in the wake of a troop influx during and after WWII with thousands of American boys bringing their money, taste and touch to the area so a new wave of ‘Americana’ style bars might be on the horizon pending interest from potential operators. On the back of a sluggish economy, some in the Darwin hospitality scene see the proposal as a positive.

Internationalist: Platforms

I was at two book launches in the last two weeks, both in New York: the official launch of The PDT Cocktail Book by Jim Meehan and the launch of New York restaurant Eleven Madison Park’s cookbook.

The latter was also a celebration of Eleven finally achieving the coveted third star from Michelin and the announcement that owner Danny Meyer was selling Eleven to his protégés, the authors of the cookbook, general manager Will Guidara and chef Daniel Humm.

Jim’s book is gorgeous – beautiful, heavy and brilliantly written. It’s a manual too, detailing the philosophies of PDT, the tools and equipment they use, even diagramming their mise-en-place. An amazing achievement. The Eleven Madison Park book is, if anything, even more mind-bogglingly good than their party was, and their party was at least as good as Jim’s book. (How cool was their party? Well, Jim was bartending there!). The Eleven book weighs more than 3kg, and is as beautifully photographed and typeset as any such high-end food-porn cookbook from a posh restaurant you’ve ever seen.