Team behind the The Barber Shop to open new Sydney bar The Duke of Clarence

Mike Enright (left) and Julian Train, are set to open new Sydney bar The Duke of Clarence.
Mike Enright (left) and Julian Train, are set to open new Sydney bar The Duke of Clarence.

There’s a new bar opening in the alleyway where you find The Barber Shop and The Baxter Inn, and it’s going to be called The Duke of Clarence.

The bar, slated to open in late October, comes from the duo behind The Barber Shop, Mike Enright and Julian Train. They’re taking over a space that briefly operated as Easy Eight, and giving it a complete makeover, to bring their vision of a mid-1800’s tavern to life — and it’s one that will be something of a dream come true for Enright, who hails from England himself.

“I’ve always wanted to create my own pub,” he says. “[The Duke of Clarence] is everything that I’ve wanted to have in a pub that I’ve not been able to get — you can have a cask ale, or dare I say it, a decent pint of Guinness; a European wine or champagne; or a cocktail that’s been rotovapped with English essences and a lot of ingredients that were used back during the times of Charles Dickens.”

They’ve had someone in the UK working for them for the last three months to source the bits and pieces that will give the bar its Victorian-era look.

“We’ve imported everything from wood panelling and bar fronts, to walls, to flooring to exterior tiles, furniture, all from the UK,” says Enright.

Think antique stools, lots of brass, a library corner, and standing room at the bar, too; behind the bar you’ll find traditional porcelain beer taps, and a proper cocktail setup from which they’ll be doing some high-end cocktails (expect them to make use of a rotary evaporator, too).

“It’s the best bits of the English pub without the grotty bits,” says Train. “It’s the kind of place Mikey and I want to go to ourselves.”

In terms of spirits there is no singular category of liquor they’re going after, though the selection will skew British.

“We’ll have a heavy amount of spirits from the British Isles,” Enright says.

There’ll be gin and Scotch, of course, but also Irish and Welsh whiskies. And there’ll be a lot of it. “There’ll be about 500 bottles on the back bar,” Enright says.


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