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Bartenders’ guides to Sydney’s secrets: Pasan Wijesena, Earl's Juke Joint

Bartender/owner Pasan shares what's best on the streets of Sydney

Photograph: Daniel Boud

Pasan is the owner and lead bartender of Earl’s Juke Joint, the New Orleans soul saloon hiding behind a butcher shop façade in the heart of Newtown. The winner of many accolades, including Time Out Sydney’s Bartender of the Year 2015, Wijesena is one of Sydney’s most respected bar stars.

Pasan feeds at: Ramen IkkyuSussex Centre Food Court, Haymarket
“This food court has always been a favourite of mine: we could sit up at the window and overlook Chinatown as we ate. My mates and I have a tradition of going there before every Public Enemy gig, whenever they tour. Been doing that almost 15 years now.”

Pasan drinks at: The Royal Albert, Surry Hills
“It’s the local pub I wish I had around the corner from my place. I love their commitment and dedication to serving quality beer in a cosy neighbourhood setting. Their tap takeovers are a great way to try a bunch of beers you won't see many other places. They do killer dumplings, and it’s the kind of place where everyone seems to be a regular.”

Pasan hunts at: White Rabbit Gallery, Chippendale
“I love the reuse of this space, which was once a Rolls Royce service depot, as a gallery. It’s the best place to see contemporary Chinese art in Sydney. They change the exhibits often, and it’s free to get in. It’s also a short stroll to the Old Clare/Central Park/Spice Alley precinct.”

Pasan gathers at: Espionage, Sydney
“I’ve long been a fan of Espionage and more recently, Culture Kings. Both carry a good range of classic sneakers as well as rare collaborations and hip-hop inspired designs. My wife will testify to the amount of cupboard space taken up by boxes of Air Jordan's and Stan Smiths.”