In the perfect world a date would be simple. We would get asked out, agree on a time and the rest of the details would fade into a montage of looking effortlessly gorgeous. The male, or in this instance the asker-outerer would choose a relevant and tasteful location. Alas, due in part to the fact that chivalry is now about as common as an expired jar of peanut butter things don’t go that way very often.
It’s a good idea to have a few impressive locations up your sleeve for dates, just in case your knowledge of drinking holes becomes essential. Because just like taking you to the pub for a snitty and a schooner is not appropriate, suggesting a venue that specializes in high tea for well to do society ladies isn’t going to gel well with most members of the male species.
JLM and The Confidential Girl have joined forces to present you with Sydney’s eight best, most date worthy bars. Whilst JLM explores the local eclecticism of the Inner West, The Confidential Girl floats around the blissful bubble of the Eastern Suburbs.
Drinks: Icebergs Classic Aperitivo No.8 ($19)
Atmosphere: Classy. Period.
Why it’s great: Italian inspired dining over looking the iconic and extremely gorgeous Bondi Beach, there is nothing more I need to say.
FIRST IMPRESSION FACTOR: How are you so rich…..? This place is incredible, is that Hugh Jackman!!!!?
Drinks: Lucky be a lady ($16) + Air France ($18)
Atmosphere: Blossoming, I attended for Sunday lunch and talk about a FULL HOUSE!
Why it’s great: If you are after a more casual and relaxed first date, The Butler is perfect as it opens from a little hole in the wall into a huge open space.
First impression factor: …… Am I in Paris? I feel like I should live in Paris.
Drinks: N-B-C (North Bondi Colada) ($18) + Raspberry & Lemongrass Bellini ($18)
Atmosphere: Beach Luxe, I seriously felt like I was on a holiday.
Why it’s great: It’s sooo relaxed, (isn’t that what Sydney does best?!) NBF is perfect for any occasion or date. What’s better than a few summer cocktails looking over North Bondi?
First impression factor: Okay okayyyyy, I could get used to this.
Drinks: Cosmopolitan ($21) + Peach Bellini ($17)
Atmosphere: Cruisy but Luxe… is that even an atmosphere? It is now.
Why it’s great: What’s better than a few low key cocktails looking over the Rose Bay Harbour whilst the sea planes land, perfect location for pondering life, or, intimate get-to –know-you drinks.
First impression factor: No wonder this restaurant is one of Roxy Jackeno’s favourites venues!
As one of the original small bars on the scene Pocket Bar is a damned fine mistress. Even though it’s open daily from 4pm it always feels like your own private slice of night time. Sink into a leather armchair and feel like you’re tucked away in your own sumptuous den.
Drinks: Morning Dew ($18) + Take Your Clothes Off ($19). There’s table service too so all you need to worry about is which floral, fluffy or exotic cocktail you sip next.
Atmosphere: In my opinion Pocket Bar is close to perfect as a second or third date location. It’s lighting is low enough to encourage alcohol to do what it does best; act as a social lubricant and banish inhibitions.
Why it’s great: With the right person you can find yourself easily chatting away the hours and sliding deeper into the depth of Pocket Bar’s seductive grasp. Plus, it’s dark enough to pull off a cheeky pash and not look obscene.
First impression rating: You’re good at dating, smooth and charismatic. More importantly, you probably want to get horizontally acquainted with this person sometime in the near future.
For the more sophisticated (wine) drinkers out there Mojo is smoothly deconstructed warehouse space featuring dim lighting, subtly alluring jazz and a bunch of pickled whole vegetables positioned like art installations.
Drinks: Mojo boasts a robust and evolving wine list which is perfectly matched with the tapas style menu designed by Luke Mangan.
Atmosphere: It’s sharp, sexy and unique. The warehouse size (and location) gives it that elusive New York city feel. The fact that it’s in Waterloo gives it an element of elusiveness and means it attracts a premium crowd.
First impression rating: You’re mature enough to know the difference between a Pinot Gris and Noir and maybe even like to throw on a button up shirt from time to time. If this is an early date location you’re shining up all your artillery to shoot to kill.
Drinks: The local Young Henry’s tap beers, Pina Colada ($17) and Hobo Julep ($12) on the menu serve as surreptitious reminder that we’re absolutely drinking in Newtown.
Atmosphere: Earl’s is deep in Sydney’s bar elite niche, paying homage to historical rock n roll legends in name, hip hop stars in marketing collateral and infamous alchemists and bar tenders alike in its drink menus. The interior is wooden and clunky, boasting an 11m bar and alchemist’s dream of boundless bottles of elixirs, tonics and liquors. The staff dress in drag, or tacky Hawaiian/Tiki/Jungle theme (if at all) and there’s framed pictures of music greats religiously adorning the walls. Take what you will.
Why it’s great – The distinct eclecticism of the bar means there’s never a dull moment. Even though the fundamentally basic layout means it not overly intimate, what it lacks in seductive airs it makes up for in opportunities to people watch or sing along to guilty pleasure crunk tunes.
First impression –Extra brownies points for the quirk factor. Newtown is out there at the best of times but entering a bar through what looks like the front of a butcher shop is next level odd. It’s fun.
790 Princes Hwy, Sutherland
Since Coffee & Ciggarettes there’s been no more harmonious marriage than that of Tequila & Tacos. It may be a little out of the way for some but a trip to Sutherland’s Frank & Blanco is well worth it.
Drinks: Frankalada ($15.50) + Paloma ($15.50)
Atmosphere: Thanks to a clever blend of casual class, tequila highs, salty snacks and happily, hustling bar tenders Frank & Blanco is positively buzzing.
Why it’s great: Sydney is brimming with Mexican joints but Frank & Blanco is clearly bred out of passion. With a focus of looking global to go local F&B put their own personalised mark on everything; from the specifically produced house tequila (Tequila Arette) to locally bred artistic talent displayed on the walls and the cocktail mastery of owners Hill & Galal.
First impression factor: Your covert mission to throw out the wild card will most probably succeed, and, the way I see it, tequila always ends in one of two ways…on the floor, or, on the floor.
Always drink and love responsibly,