Great small bars tend to travel in packs. Unfortunately, if Darlinghurst or Paddington isn’t on your hit list, then you might come up short on options. Thankfully, there are a few savvy bar owners who have set up in less likely neighbourhoods, and don’t you love them for it.
When you think of CBD watering holes, you’d be forgiven for coming up with glossy numbers like Marquee, ivy or Zeta Bar. What could be more of an antithesis than going to Grandma’s? This kitch wonderland abounds in crotched rugs, needles (of the knitting kind) and a charming atmosphere. Tucked away in a basement on Clarence Street, like that blankie Nan made you; once found, always treasured.
They say a stitch in time saves nine, but like Grandma’s, this Stitch joins in the effort to save the CBD from being void of cute, interesting places to scurry to after dark. Like Grandma’s, there’s a vintage vibe going on, with stacked sewing machines, sheet-music wallpaper and saloon-style barrel tables. Given the old-fashioned feel, you’d expect classic cocktails with panache, and there’s certainly a good Negroni to be had here.
On the food front, it’s encouraging to see more hotdogs in Sydney. Featuring gour-met bangers like duck, orange and pistachio, as well as fillers of brie or truffle sauce, top it all off with a bowl of curly fries.
Over in Glebe, there’s Timbah. A converted garage beneath Glebe’s best vino bottle shop, Glebe Liquor, the bar is run by the very same and is beautifully ‘off the beaten track’, on Forsyth Street at the quieter end of Glebe Point Road, a stone’s throw from Glebe Point Diner.
Expect regular changes to vinos by the glass, and some interesting ones at that. It’s not all about drinking though, with a chalkboard menu of seasonal shared dishes like fried school prawns with aioli, kingfish carpaccio with grapefruit, fennel and mint, as well as heftier mains to boot.
The perfect antidote to grand bar drinking, small bars are a great way place to cosy up as the temperature drops.
Basement 275 Clarence Street, CBD Sydney 2000
T: 02 9264 3004
61 York Street, Sydney, 2000
375 Glebe Point Road (enter from Forsyth St), Glebe 2037