Volstead is the first project for whisky-nerd Stuart Inger and Sydney businessman, Allen Chen. Both passionate about whisky and avid collectors, the pair met when Stu was working at Hippo Co. back in 2017 and Allen, an executive manager at Westpac was a regular customer. Stu initially went to him for financial advice when the opportunity to open a bar came up. Soon after, Allen and Stu realised that the combination of their personal whisky collections would make for something really special. So, rather than Stu just getting some money tips, they became business partners and worked on opening what is now known as Volstead Repeal together.
The name is an ode to the years that followed the Repeal of the Volstead Act, which prohibited the production, and sale of alcohol in the US. The pair wanted to do something more unique than the typical Prohibition style, and so went down the path of New York from the 1930s to 50s, with banquette seating, chesterfields and dark timber finishes. “Our goal is to deliver balanced, flavoursome food, exceptional drinks, and fine whisky, in a fun and welcoming environment,” say the owners.
The signature selection of cocktails is updated for the seasons and is designed to help guests select a style that suits their taste buds.
On the cocktail front, classics are there in force. Old Fashioneds are a Volstead specialty. “A simple cocktail of whiskey, sugar and bitters. Simple, but not easy,” they say. The signature selection of cocktails is updated for the seasons and is designed to help guests select a style that suits their taste buds. With over 300 whiskeys on the back bar,
the pair is keen to continue growing their collection until they run
out of room!
The food offering is simple, yet delicious, with pizza being cooked from open to close and charcuterie and cheese boards available.
Volstead is located at the back of the Yamaroshi building in Braddon and was specifically chosen as Stu and Allen wanted the venue to be tucked away, as they want it to be a place you have to know about, rather than one to be stumbled upon. The capacity is about 50 seats and full table service is offered.
In true hospo style, the bartop is super long to encourage guests who like to sit at the bar and chat about whisky to take a seat. Volstead also offers three whisky tasting sessions per week, run by their dedicated and passionate staff who have genuine and vested interests in the hospitality industry.