16 Argyle Street, The Rocks
Alice, located basement level in the heritage-listed, former bond stores at 16 Argyle Street, is the newest addition to the Hunter Street Hospitality portfolio which includes Rockpool Bar & Grill, Spice Temple & Sake. The newly renovated, indulgent space is warm, fanciful, flirtatious and filled with feminine energy, with input from interior design agency, People of Design.
Channelling vintage glamour, Alice delivers an advanced cocktail program, elevated bar menu and exemplary service culture.
Guests enter via an ambient stairwell, the descent lined with rich velvet drapes, as smooth, lounge-bar beats drift up to street level. Downstairs, jewel-coloured, fabric-covered booths, banquettes, and bar-side seating create an elegant space for 65 guests, plus an intimate, 10-person, semi-private space that can be dramatically curtained off. Plum and burnt-amber accents, touches of gold, velvet and other soft fabrics and ostrich-feather lights create a world of adult-only decadence.
Channelling vintage glamour, the Alice cocktail program was curated by industry veteran Steve McDermott (formerly the Barber Shop, Duke of Clarence et al). The approach to drinks making is serious and advanced yet sprinkled with fun. Expect clever twists on classics, signature drops and show-stopping innovators, including the Alice Spritz, which comprises Cocchi Americano, Prosecco and Raspberry Shrub; the Nitro Spumoni – a sweet-bitter-sour adventure of Campari, Saffron Tincture, Tonic Reduction and Nitro Grapefruit; the Spicy Calavera, which combines Mezcal, Lime, Agave, Pineapple, Chilli and Coriander, and the ever-so moreish Salted Mac Irish Coffee, which blends Macadamia Fat Washed Connemara, Salted Macadamia Syrup, Espresso and a Cream Float.
Sharing cocktails, Bolero Punch and Peach & Myrtle Punch, are served in bespoke crystal glassware. Several non-alcoholic numbers are available for evenings of sobriety.
“We have had our sights set on a high-end cocktail bar for some time, one that draws inspiration from the world’s best bars and the food offerings of our own premium restaurants, Rockpool Bar & Grill and Spice Temple,” Pash said.
Over thirty French Champagnes grace the drinks list, alongside a strong contingent of Australian and European wines, with representation of biodynamic, organic, vegan and preservative-free styles. The bar menu comprises Sydney’s finest snacks, which are designed to accompany Alice’s sophisticated sips. The menu takes inspiration from sister venues Rockpool Bar & Grill and Spice Temple.
A Caviar service served with Tater Tots and Crème Fraiche strikes a first-class note. Irresistible ‘Raw and Sliced’ dishes include Scallop Crudo with Gin, Olive Oil and Burnt Orange; Beef Carpaccio with Parmesan, Horseradish Cream and Capers; and Jamon with Pickled Cauliflower.
Pair a cocktail or two with small plates, such as Chicken Liver Parfait Profiteroles, Fried Chicken with Sichuan Salt and D.C.P Mayonnaise; Smoked Trout Dip with Byron Bay Seeded Crackers; Beef Empanadas; and Buffalo Mozzarella with Grilled Pear and Vincotto.
Hunter St. Hospitality Chief Executive Officer Thomas Pash said he was thrilled that the group’s plan to open a premium cocktail bar was finally coming to fruition.
“We have had our sights set on a high-end cocktail bar for some time, one that draws inspiration from the world’s best bars and the food offerings of our own premium restaurants, Rockpool Bar & Grill and Spice Temple,” Pash said. “The Rocks is enjoying an incredible revival and it’s exciting to be contributing to the drinking and dining buzz with an incredibly unique destination like Alice.”