It takes a certain mindset to see the potential for a cosy little bar in an awkward, narrow room off a city laneway, but luckily for us the team at Burrow Bar were able to look past the fluorescent lights and corporate Gyprock walls and imagine something better.
They have transformed what looked like a standard office foyer into a bar you’ll want to make your regular, especially if you work in the CBD. Turns out behind the blank white walls there was beautiful Sydney sandstone waiting to be unearthed, to which they’ve added the warm glow of miners lights, a polished concrete floor and some hard-core sound insulation so you can comfortably chat.
They’ve kept things pared back and simple in this narrow burrow; little native floral bunches adorn the tables, there’s a few club lounges up the back and they’ve wound fake vines around some of the exposed beams and struts. What it all adds up to is the kind of bar you can visit in any mood. Want a quiet drink with a beleaguered colleague? These guys are barrel-aging tall, strong Negronis as an emotional salve. Keen to meet the crew and loosen the collar? That’s when you want something that isn’t taking itself too seriously. Take the Never go the Full Tiki, for example. They’ve taken a Sazerac, whitened the rum and added a Chartreuse rinse, a pineapple and cardamom shrub and orange bitters, and what arrives is essentially a tiki drink wearing an invisibility cloak. It tastes fruity and tropical but is almost clear, like those Archers RTDs that were so popular in the early thousands.
We are powerless to resist those super salty little crunchy corn kernels that they’re selling here for a cheeky three-bucks a pop, but if you’re planning on making dinner out of bar food you might want to take a run at the Reuben sandwich made from bread, corned beef and sauerkraut all of which they make in house. The other substantial eats are rillettes and a 1kg rump cap, which is a fairly random collection of menu items, and for vegetarians you can have all the rillettes accompaniments (pickles, cheese, bread etc) with no meat.
This place is tricky to find – you need to hook down into a loading alley way off George Street and look for the door marked with a B – which probably explains it’s DIY neighbourhood vibe. It’s not crazy busy, the staff are very chatty and it’s a poser-free zone, so if you’ve been looking for a low-key haunt in the CBD, this is a good place to cool your heels.