There’s something dangerous about entering an unmarked door, or walking down a dark, dingy alleyway that piques our interest and sets our heart racing. The most obscure, concealed and secretive bars make for the most fun nights out, so take it from us and give one (or all) of these bars a go at some point this week.
The Soda Factory
16 Wentworth Avenue, Surry Hills
A 50’s themed diner that plays 80’s and 90’s tunes on the weekend, shows movies on Mondays, has $1 hot dogs on Tuesdays and features waitresses and bartenders on roller skates, is exactly what you need to go see to believe it for yourself. Plus, what makes this bar a secret is the fact that you have to walk through a mysteriously disguised fridge door to get to the underground festivities. How chilling.
Shady Pines Saloon
256 Crown st, Darlinghurst
Dark alleyways and a super-secret, unmarked door is what you’ll find when looking for Shady Pines Saloon. Welcome to the hidden Wild, Wild West of Darlinghurst, where you can expect moose heads planted on the walls and cheap drinks to quench your thirst for the taste of the real outback. Finally at the end of the night, you can ride your Uber back home into the sunset.
(Shady Pines Saloon is so secretive that we couldn’t even find a photo to stick in this article! I guess you gotta check it out for yourself. Good luck!)
56 York St, Sydney
Look at any high-rise corporate building in Sydney’s CBD and I’m sure you wouldn’t suspect there to be a raving restaurant and bar on the rooftop. Well think again, because The Rook is located on top of an office building that they share with an independent business college. The perks of being on top of a high-rise tower include the amazing view of the Sydney cityscape, plus ample natural lighting to get your good-side for photos (#instafamous).
32 Burton St, Darlinghurst
I like my bars how I like my men – mysterious, secretive and moody – and that’s exactly what you’ll get at The Downtown located inside three-storey bar and restaurant, The Commons. The bar is a hidden gem literally located in a dark lower-level of The Commons and boasts a piano as well as jazz nights. It also closes at 1am for all you night owls out there.
The Swinging Cat
44 King St, Sydney
Ever wondered if there’s anything lurking underneath a Subway sandwich shop? Well The Swinging Cat is an underground bar hidden below a Subway, featuring dim lighting, leather furnishings and an extensive cocktail list. It’s no surprise that this bar is a not so well-kept secret despite its obscure location…
The Baxter Inn
156 Clarence St, Sydney
Ranked as number 6 on ‘The World’s Top 50 Bars’ in 2015, is this hidden, unpretentious establishment. The famous whiskey bar is located on Clarence Street in Sydney’s CBD, nestled amongst some rubbish bins down a dark alleyway – and voila! – you’ve come across a mysterious door leading you into The Baxter Inn. However, you’ll most likely see a line of people emanating from the front door as this place is a popular hangout.
Eau De Vie
229 Darlinghurst Rd, Darlinghurst
Eau De Vie is known as an insider’s secret when it comes to inconspicuous, mysterious cocktail bars. The bar doesn’t boast a lot of signage and leaves it to the imagination of outsiders to determine what lies beyond a discreet door. Hint: you will find some of the best cocktail masterminds, swanky private spaces and aged Whisky that’s older than you.
Happy hunting for these hidden bars! Fingers crossed you don’t accidentally knock on someone’s front door looking for a nightcap (or fingers uncrossed if they’re good-looking)…
By Nora Omar
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