Finally I got to catch up with my friends (MasterChef The Professionals runner-up) Sarah Knights, Chef Scott Wade and (Brooklyn Boy Bagels) Michael Shafran. Then three more of the girls from the last TV series turned up to join us. Gossip – we sure did over a cocktail or two or three.
The $16 cocktails are themed around the name of the bar. Between us we tried a few. We missed the Foreplay (Noilly Prat Vermouth, Martin Milers Gin – shaken not stirred) and got right down to matters. Sarah likes ginger beer so chose Playmaker, Scott went for Hendricks gin cocktail Secret Play and for starters I chose the stunning whisky double – Playboy (just in this instance for cocktails mind you – cause that’s not my kind of man) – with Glenmorangie 10yo Scotch, Laphroaig 10yo Scotch, shaved ginger, lemon and honey and a dash of orange juice, before moving on to more cocktails then Hendricks G+Ts complete with cucumber garnish.
Then Sarah and Michael had a quick spin on the turntables. Open vinyl, Thursday nights are half hour slots for guest DJs – some of whom have never played before. Co-owner Daniel Robertson says that is really exciting and brings a different energy to the place. Friday night he and his mates DJ with old school 90s NY. Saturday is hip hop, then broken beats, funk and soul. Earlier in the week, Tuesday music is more laid back and Wednesday night is live jazz with the Darren Heinrich Trio. You could have guessed that music is a focus as the mixing desk is about smack in the middle of the room.
“The space spoke for itself” said co-owner Sarah Vuong as they worked through a lot of the renovations to the former chess storeroom themselves. She brightened the room with walls painted by Beat Art on the opposite side to the exposed brick and cement rendered arched walls.
Daniel and Sarah are in the swing of things now the place has been opened without publicity for nine weeks. The next addition will be southern style food by food truck Night Hawk Diner.
An excerpt was published in my weekly BAR FLY newspaper column for the Alternative Media Group.
72 Campbell Street, Surry Hills
+61 2 9280 0885