Natalie Ng & Locky Paech partner up to open Now & Then in Sydney’s Clarence Street bar precinct

Joey Moussa, Natalie Ng & Locky Paech

Story & Photos by Andy Ratcliff. @whisky.rat

Clarence Street is set to welcome yet another new venue to Australia’s hottest precinct with the opening of Now & Then, the latest concept bar from industry veterans Natalie Ng (Door Knock) and Locky Paech (East Village, Good Times Hospitality).

Situated in the semi-heritage-listed basement of 222 Clarence Street, you can expect an ode to both past and present drinks with a concept that lends itself to all things great about hospitality. “We’re hoping to connect the dots on Clarence Street and extend the precinct,” says Lochy Paech, Owner-Operator.

Once inside you’ll experience a deliciously autumn-coloured venue featuring dark timber floors, plush velvet booths and curtains to hide away in the many nooks and crannies to sip your evening away. There will be plenty of colorful themes throughout the venue, but without it looking tiki.

The venue has kept its street-level windows so whilst being in a basement bar, the seats will be raised so you can still be able to see the sun go down while enjoying a shandy or a big glass of Australian Chardonnay.


The drinks menu has been crafted by Natalie, who is no slouch when it comes to marrying flavors together. Amongst her accolades and time as a Diageo brand ambassador, Natalie has a wealth of experience to draw upon, including her years running the multi-award winning Door Knock. Natalie’s take on drinks extends beyond just the liquid. ‘A drink is not just what’s in the glass, it’s what’s outside the glass that counts as well,” she says.

She won’t be alone, in her true fashion for championing young talent Natalie has conscripted James Cooke from Edward & Ida’s in Western Australia to lead the bar team. James was recently a finalist in The Blend and Flor de Cana’s sustainability competition. She has also recruited the very talented Joey Moussa from Applejack Hospitality to take up the General Manager role. 

The monthly menu will consist of two sides, an homage to past drinks from a time they desire (think shandy on tap, Tooheys Old, Toblerones and Mudslides but done in their way), whilst the nod to modern techniques and practices (milk-washes, clarified drinks, Seltzers and of course, all the drinks will be market fresh) will take up the second page of the menu. It will be bolstered by a massive array of spirits from all walks of life that will cover pretty much anything you desire.

Natalie sums it up saying: “Our focus on hospitality is for our guests to leave in a better place than when they came in.”

Early next year they plan to travel down to Adelaide to work on a few house blends for the wine menu and Locky has access to some of Australia’s best winemakers. But you can imagine a big Barossa Shiraz, Buttery Australian Chardonnay and some old-world rippers to make an appearance on the menu.

The team will be working closely with local producers on winemaker dinners and local spirits producers to ensure they bring the best quality product to Clarence Street.

For food, a small selection of six to eight bar snacks will also piggyback on the concepts they create by focusing on the nostalgia of Australian cuisine (traveler pies, schnitzel with apricot chutney etc) but done in their own style.

You can expect this to be ever-evolving with plenty of different cuisines from around the world thanks to the chefs at the East Village.

We’re most excited about the ability of the brand to open itself up to different themed nights and a vast array of music and vibe. What could be a 70s disco-themed night one week could flip into a swinging 60s party the next. Nat sums it up saying: “Our focus on hospitality is for our guests to leave in a better place than when they came in.”

The future looks bright!

Mon-Thur 4pm-12am, Fri-Sat 4pm-2am (With the view to push to Thur-Fri lunches)

Opening date still tbc. Follow them on socials to stay in the loop