Summer openings are in bloom, as seen in three hot new offerings in city-fringe Sydney pubs.
Surry Hills rises topographically at the city’s southern border like a custodian, often making the most of the vantage in way of cutting-edge concepts and new ideas. Seen as Sydney’s nest of small bars and hipster delights, its bohemian patronage is attracted to the likes of fancy eats and non-conformist entertainment.
At the crest of the Hills, Merivale’s Beresford Hotel is a casual neighbourhood pub cloaked in a swish Italiana fitout. Back in 2011, the venue launched ‘Upstairs Beresford’ for the enjoyment of live music, and has become a staple of that scene.
Merivale has now begun ‘Upstairs Live’ – a new variation on the live music experience, aiming to showcase the best in home-grown indie talent. The new night takes place Thursdays, from 8pm, and entry is free.
Nearby, the Chippendale Hotel has fine-tuned its Americana theme with a re-brand and new menu mixing pub grub with “a lick of Louisiana”.
Now known as The Chippo, the pub saw recent success with its Cheekyburger pop-up, out of the Oxford St Cheekyburger mecca.
The cheesy burgers will remain on the menu, joined by childhood favourites such as Coconut Shrimp and Southern-Fried Chicken by Louisiana-born chef Charlie Fisher, who has joined The Chippo team.
Owner Brett Strauss told PubTIC the new offering is intended to capitalise on what has worked since the make-over last year.
“We see the Louisiana theme as a way to widen the scope of American-style food offered at the pub,” Strauss explained.
“The partnership with Cheekyburger was very successful for us and we have kept the Cheeky Cheeseburger on the menu for its loyal fans, but with the Louisiana theme we’re able to cater for various tastes, offering pub-goers a bit more than just delicious burgers.”
The Chippo also rocks live music, in a purpose-built neighbour-loving basement, playing local and independent bands most Thursday through Saturdays. Continuing the US concepts, it also runs an Improv night on Wednesdays.
A little further south, the Cauliflower Hotel is celebrating the rising popularity of rum with a St Lucian-styled cocktail bar and Caribbean-themed rooftop.
The 1838-built Hotel has been undergoing a “loving restoration” for more than a year, working toward the specialist rum bar and kitchen – The Forgotten Cask – opening to the Palm Lounge deck area and rooftop garden, adorned with tropical succulents.
There is a selection of more than 90 rums and spirits from around the world, to be found in bespoke cocktails named after pirates, and a menu taking inspiration from Pacific rim nations from Mexico to Peru.
The bar is the creation of owners Justin and Pippi Drew, partnering with Adam Goddard as licensee and GM, Billy Stamp as head chef, and Aaron Michael on Mixology.
Beneath the barrels of rum, the Rock Bar is another room supporting local talent, with live music every Saturday night and Sunday afternoon.