We don’t need to tell you how much Sydney loves a rooftop bar, and the top floor addition to the East Village Hotel (previously the Darlo Village) is an A-grade, lofty drinking perch. Sure, if cardio isn’t your friend you may even find you have to take a breather at the second floor, but that’s not going to be a problem because that’s where they added the Athletic Club, a vintage sports-themed bar that has a very toffy, “I went to Eton during the Downton Abbey years” vibe about it. This is not the place to get rugby league drunk.
Now you’ve had a rest, onwards and upwards so you can arrive victorious at the secluded garden bar on the top floor. It’s not a huge space, so arriving before the crowds is always a smart plan of attack. And it’s a bit frillier up here, so don’t be surprised if you’re sat at a table fully set for dinner, even if you’re just there for a tart-and-autumnal blood plum Margarita and views of the CBD.
But if you’re not feeling like the hike, or you want a drink that doesn’t come with the whimsical side notes, stay on the ground floor. You can still sit outside on Liverpool Street and lean back on the green, orange and red tiles that have always lined this Darlo pub, or head inside where things are a bit more Nordic in lots of expensive grey and extra-squooshy stools that are very easy to fall off. They’ve got a very pared-back tap beer list – there’s only six, including a cider, and one is Tooheys New and another is Mismatch’s session ale. Wine is the real focus here. So much so that there’s a board up on the wall listing their cellar bottles and if one is open for by-the-glass pours a little light bulb lights up beside it like an old fashioned train timetable. Maybe you can have a glass of the skin contact From Sunday pinot gris. It looks like a rosé, smells sweet like pie and tastes savoury as a cheeseboard. Or you could go the everyday pours, which hold their own. A night spent on the grippy Urban Winery Project’s gris-gewurtz-riesling blend is money well spent.
In fact, they love wine so much here they have a whole menu dedicated to wine cocktails so spice up your glass of plonk and make it a seasonal Mimosa, a Sherry Cobbler, a Claret Cup or a summer Spritz instead. Fill in the edges with their tiered steak special on Mondays, beer and burger special on Wednesdays, or on Sundays slope in for a roast dinner you didn’t have to cook yourself.