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If you were drinking cocktails in Sydney in the 2000s, you weren’t doing it right unless some of that drinking was happening at Lotus.

Lotus was one of the most celebrated and influential bars in the Australian scene, winning countless awards and educating a city on how to drink properly.

Well, the good news is that Merivale has brought Lotus back. The Sydney hospitality group has rebooted Lotus for an extended popup at its former home one Challis Avenue in Potts Point.

Lotus opened in 2002 and was home to top bartenders such as three time Bartender of the Year, Marco Faorone, the groundbreaking Alexx Swainston, and veteran Sydney bartender Petr Dvoracek. Even Swillhouse’s Anton Forte did time at Lotus.

This time around, Merivale’s Sam Egerton and Colin Tam are heading up the bar, and they have brought back and updated the famous — and very 2000s — Lotus Martini (Zubrowka, peach schnapps, apple juice and passionfruit) as well as a list of new cocktails that play well with the food.

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Celebrated chef Dan Hong got his start as a head chef at Lotus back in 2008, and has returned to the helm for the popup. Hong has brought back some of the dishes from Lotus that put him on the map: the Lotus cheeseburger has returned (made with brisket, chuck steak and dry-aged beef fat), and so too has the hot fudge sundae made a return.

Back in 2010, Australian Bartender publisher David Spanton wrote about Lotus: “Marco was promoting classic cocktails, quality ice and mixers when most of the trade were still getting excited about flavoured vodka. This helped set the stage for a bar that changed the way many bartenders wrote cocktail lists and served drinks. This extremely intimate bar (you need to go outside to change your mind kind of intimate) has continued to influence and has been lucky enough over the years to have a great line up of bartenders from Alexx Swainston to current resident Petr Devoracek to continue the success.”

The extended popup is taking place as a way for Merivale to farewell the Challis Avenue site, which the group has sold.

Take a look inside Lotus above.

Lotus, 22 Challis Avenue Potts Point.

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