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Lifestyle : Sydneys Small Bars Special Report
1HERSA1 0016 Pocket Bar 9380 7002 13 Burton St, Darlinghurst www.pocketsydney.com.au Open 7 days 4pm till Late Button Bar 9211 1544 65 Foveaux St, Surry Hills www.button-bar.com.au Open 7 days 4pm till Late Pocket Bar is one of the original small bars in Sydney. It's a cosy underground hole-in-the-wall kind of bar in downtown Darlinghurst serving signature cocktails and crepes 7 days a week until midnight. We believe in good drinks, good eats, good times and leaving the bullshit at the door. We've been nominated for a whole bunch of award stuff and proud winners of Time Out's Peoples Choice Award - but most of all we love our regulars. We like the idea of when your local is your loungeroom, which pretty much sums up Pocket in a nutshell. We can be found at an unmarked wooden sliding door at the lower end of Foveaux Street in Surry Hills. No X marking the spot, so if you find it, half the battle has been won! Venture in you'll find the bartender's slinging cocktails behind a large wood panel fit out playing rock n' roll and blues. There's a large array of spirits including barrel's of home spiced rum, singapore sling's and sherry. And if you're just looking for a quick beer/cider, you'll find beers selected from our bartender's favourite local brewery's... Stitch Bar 9279 0380 61 York St, Sydney www.stitchbar.com Open Mon - Wed 4pm til late Thurs - Fri Noon till Late Saturday 4pm till Late At 61 York Street behind a Taliorshop façade is a quirky basement bar, Stitch. Serving up burgers and 'dogs alongside top shelf spirits and an innovative cocktail menu, you can grab a booth, kick back and enjoy the speakeasy feel, while listening to the guitar greats of Louisiana. iG5801756AA-260213 16 goodfood TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2013 small bars special report Shaking the big picture Some of Sydney's tiniest drink spots are leading the scene, writes Carli Ratcliff. Oliver Iaccarino Co-owner of Stowaway Bar 24 Lawrence Street, Freshwater, 9905 2038, stowawaybar.com Co-owners and locals Oliver Iaccarino, Troy Barnett and Korey Condon decided to open a small bar in Freshwater in January, the suburb's first. With just 40 seats, the bar serves cocktails, wine, beer and pizza from the shop next door, and is proving popular with locals. What inspired you to open a small bar in Freshwater? ''Freshwater feels like a coastal town and, while it is like a village, there wasn't a small, cosy bar with atmosphere so we wanted to create one. We set out to build a small bar that we'd love and that was the kind of place where we'd want to drink,'' Iaccarino says. What is the most important component of a great small bar? ''What I like about small bars is that the owners are generally behind the bar,'' Iaccarino says. ''It is unlikely that anyone cares more about the customer than the owner. Most are really keen to give very personalised service. It gives the owner the opportunity to respond to the customers' specific needs, which helps to build a regular clientele.'' What are the most popular drinks on the menu? ''The Stowaway Express is popular,'' Iaccarino says. It comprises coffee, spiced rum, vanilla vodka, Kahlua and coffee beans. ''The Bronsky, which combines elderflower cordial, passionfruit and pineapple juice with white rum, vodka and slices of lime, is sold by the jug.'' What do locals want? ''We have only been open for five weeks but it seems that, in Freshwater, what people order is pretty weather-dependent,'' Iaccarino says. ''Heavier beers seem to sell better in cooler weather.'' Your favourite other small bars? ''Shady Pines, Darlinghurst, and Baxter Inn, Sydney -- it is everything a bar should be.'' Robb Sloan Co-owner, Bulletin Place Level 1, 10-14 Bulletin Place, Sydney, bulletinplace.com Co-owners Tim Philips, Adi Ruiz and Robb Sloan are behind the bar at Bulletin Place. After opening on December 20, the triumvirate are frantic most nights, pouring cocktails based on classics with the addition of fresh seasonal juices and fruits. What is the driving force behind your small bar? ''Fresh local produce is really important to us,'' Sloan says. ''We are all wannabe foodies and we're keen to adopt a farm-to-table ethos. We believe it's important to work with Australian produce; not many bars do. Often the juices used in cocktails are processed and they compromise the completeness of the drink. What is the point of spending great money on a fine spirit and putting in a $4 juice?'' The most important component of a successful small bar is ...?''Service is the most important aspect of a small bar,'' Sloan says. ''The three of us share the same vision that customer service is paramount. A customer should be treated like a guest in your home, and the small nature of our space lends itself to this.'' What is on the menu? ''Every day we list five new drinks on a butcher's roll behind the bar,'' Sloan says. ''Creating new drinks every day keeps us charged and challenged. We work within a framework of classics; we'll always have a Collins, a Margarita and a Daiquiri-style drink, but we don't produce a great volume of Canapes to go with your cocktail
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