Juanitaaas!! It’s a name you want to shout out while rattling some maracas or swishing your flamenco skirts. The brand new bar at everyone’s favourite Potts Point eatery, The Butler, is making us kick up our heels and want to have some fun.
In actual fact, the bar is named after former Potts Point resident Juanita Nielsen. The journalist and activist was pivotal in ensuring the preservation of heritage terraces in the area, including the venue’s very own terrace. Meeting an unfortunate end, Juanita’s story is a tragic one, but the bar is an ode to her dedication to preserving such a special suburb.
Located just inside The Butler’s front doors, Juanita’s is the perfect spot for a pre-dinner tipple (we all know how busy The Butler gets), but you can also order off the menu, so if you haven’t booked ahead downstairs, grab some stools over by the fireplace and settle in. Billy the brass cockatoo supervises the bartenders, and has been doing so for years, but there’s fun, new timber and rattan furniture that gives the space a laid-back, Spanish street party vibe.
You’ll certainly be in the right mood to try some of the brand new cocktails – The Butler’s brand new head chef Amber Doig has brought bold, brave Ibero-American flavours to the table and the bar list follows suit. Heavy on smokey flavours that still make for easy drinking, the cocktails range from a zesty Juanita Spritz, with rhubarb and lemon, or a Highland Flower, given a kick with Johnnie Walker Black Label Whisky and sloe gin, to Smoke & Chocolate, a decadent mescal, crème de cacao, lime, orgeat and orange bitters concoction. Right On Thyme is a fun, herb and gin cocktail that cleanses the palate or there’s the ubiquitous Espresso Martini that’s given some oomph with toasted coconut.
Keep your cocktails close while perusing The Butler’s sharing menu. You might need to cool your taste buds after trying spiced black bean hummus, a kingfish crudo with Jalapeño, and slow cooked pork and chipotle empanadas. The kitchen is busy with this modern take on Central and South American cooking – think enormous slow roasted lamb shoulders dotted with adobo, green olives and coriander, or charred sweet corn surrounding a stack of chipotle, garlic and burnt Jalapeño corn chips. The lamb is undoubtedly the highlight of the show, but make sure you save room for dessert. Decadent handmade chocolate bars are the stuff of candy lovers’ dreams. But hey, don’t forget about that toasted coconut espresso martini…
Whether you’re after a few drinks before dinner, or a fun, fiery night out, Juanita’s is the new kid on the heritage block, and we’re very, very glad she’s here to stay.
Juanita’s, The Butler
123 Victoria Street, Potts Point Sydney
T: (02) 8354 0742