I do have the odd drink at home and occasionally even whip up a cocktail. But I have to admit that mixing drinks often feels too much like work on my days off. Now if I really want to unwind on a Sunday it's by cooking - a creative outlet that many bartenders not only enjoy but often excel at.
The space behind St James station on Hyde Park, Sydney, is finally seeing some action. "The name is Metro St James," said French owner Phillipe Valet (La Brasserie, Surry Hills). "I just want to start with a nice wine and aperitif bar and build it slowly," he said of the open-air space, which can be enclosed by large, bi-fold doors.
Woolloomoo has a new bar brewing that's a creative collaboration between Oscar McMahon from Newtown's Young Henry's brewery (pictured), Jack Brown (ex-owner Chingalings and hospitality business consultant), with Alex Watts and Nick Watney from Camperdown's Runcible Spoon.
Perhaps food and drink got too serious there for a while, too self-referential. The experience became less about the company you kept and more about food for food's sake. But that doesn't mean there isn't a market for grown up food and drink - pounding back tequilas and tinnies of beer is not for everyone, after all. And it's to those folks that Cellar Bar, Melbourne is looking. The place is grown up, refreshingly lacking in irony, and is a whole lot of fun.
I got to thinking the other day about what have been my favourite bar experiences over the years and I wondered what other people might say was their all time best bar visits - excluding of course those places that they either own or work at. So I asked!
For some 32 years or so, the space at 55 Riley Street (now home to the Parlour Group's new bar, Riley Street Garage) was Frank Lowy's parking space, said new owner Brody Petersen.