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The Five Quirkiest Bars in Sydney

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Section: Gentlemanly Pursuits - Blog

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Friday, the end of the week, and the perfect excuse to take some time for yourself and enjoy a bit of small talk with your favourite barman. But why not step outside your comfort zone this weekend by visiting one of our top five quirkiest bars in Sydney? You’ll be surprised at just how many there are so whittling it down to these five was no mean feat. But as always, and in the interest of research, of course, we took it upon ourselves to visit each and bring you this awesome list.

Frankie’s back bar – Hunter Street

If you’ve been in Sydney for longer than five minutes, then you’ve no doubt heard or even visited Frankie’s for some pizza and live music. What you probably haven’t done is visit the back bar which was once reserved as an after show spot for bands to hang out. It’s got a certain air of dive bar exclusivity about it that we love. It really is an “in the know” type of place with access coming through a fire door (with no alarm) at the side of the stage and then down a flight of stairs. 

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Absinthe Salon – Surry Hills

Gargoyle on the bar, cream and black wicker chairs, and Marilyn Manson posters. Yep, this place is what you might call eclectic, and that’s just the décor. Your hostess will even walk you through the intricacies of imbibing the infamous drink in just the right way. There’s no need to count your drinks in this bar as the owner’s common sense prevails with a three drink maximum for each patron. 

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Uncle Ming’s – York Street 

We’ve never found ourselves in an Asian opium den, but we imagine that a high-end den in Shanghai would be something akin to Uncle Ming’s. It’s an out of the way bar that might leave you questioning your judgement as you descend into its depths. But trust us, as far as unusual bars go this is up there with the best of them. Cocktails named after drug lords, Asian beers, and pork dumplings, what’s not to love about this place.

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Yullis – Surry Hills

The non-meat eating masses are sure to know of this famous vegetarian bar and restaurant but in a quite unusual twist, there is a backroom where you can sip your drink while enjoying a screening of a short film. There’s also an ever-changing cycle of art installations for those with a cultural craving, and even better there’s an exclusive upstairs only menu making you feel that little bit special. 

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Love Tilly Devine – Darlinghurst

If you prefer the grape to the grain, then this is your Mecca. A property that was once an old storeroom but is now a split level bar that serves more wine than you could shake a grapevine at, Love Tilly Devine is on this list more for its seemingly never-ending wine list and the fact that we love a glass of red or white. 

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So why not try something different this weekend and like we said, step outside that comfort zone that is the local bar. At least it will give you something worthwhile to talk about at the office on Monday.

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