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Grandma's Bar

  • Bars
  • Sydney
  • price 1 of 4
  • 4 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

If only a visit to grandma’s always meant hanging out in a tropical basement and drinking rum

FEBRUARY 2023 UPDATE: Sob, sob. We've received the news that Grandma's will be closing her doors this month. After 13 years of service to Sydney, one of the very first small bars in Sydney – a pioneer of our small bar scene – will shut.

"Unfortunately, the building that houses our beloved bar has been sold and we’ve been given our marching orders to make way for a new development," says the bar's owner, James Bradey.

Last drinks have been called for Friday, February 24. Make sure you head on over to say goodbye to some of Sydney's friendliest bar staff.

"We want to thank our loyal customers for their support over the years and we invite everyone to come and visit Grandma before she is finally put to bed."

The crew over at Liquid and Larder, the parent company of Grandma's (who also operate Bistecca, the Rover barRover restaurant and The Gidley in the portfolio), is now looking forward to their next venture, continuing to build off Grandma's legacy in the thriving Sydney hospitality scene.

Read on for our original review of the place.


Don’t underestimate this inner-city grandma’s capacity for fun. As much as she loves crochet and knitting patterns, she’s also developed quite a taste for rum cocktails during her time in the basement of an office building.

This is the spot for long, icy drinks with fruit garnishes – and that’s not just because it can get a little warm down in the narrow brick bar under the Guitar Lounge on Clarence Street. You know how sometimes tequila cocktails can taste like regret? Not here they don’t. Park yourself near a fan and order up a Paloma, the perfect slap and kiss combo of bitter and sweet with house made grapefruit soda and lime juice.

These guys have pared their bar back to the essentials – you don’t need a ladder or compendium to choose your booze – but what space they have is reserved for rum. You can get it every which way: stirred down with whisky, vermouth and bitters in the Made Man; shaken up with coconut pineapple and peanut butter for a Peanut Butter Colada; or stretched out into a Carribbean-style iced tea with Cognac and gin; lime, lemon and pineapple juice, almond syrup and sherry. Hope you’re not driving.

Grandma’s gets top marks for taking what was probably once the boiler room and converting it into a tropical nana bar with chipped bricks and parrot print wallpaper.
We don’t know where they fit it but there’s live music on Thursday nights, and the rest of the time you want to aim for the raised platform seats beneath the street-side window. When you get hungry a baked bean and cheese jaffle will take care of business so you can get back to drinking rum and Coca-Cola.

Our grandma was into cake and the military tattoo, which is probably why we visit Grandma’s in the city a lot more often. She’s the one with all the rum and a jaffle iron that’s always hot, and she never asks when we’ll be settling down (never).

 Time Out Awards

2012Best Small Bar

View this year's Time Out Bar Award winners 

Written by Emily Lloyd-Tait


Basement Lvl
275 Clarence St
Nearby stations: Town Hall
Opening hours:
Mon-Fri 3pm-late; Sat 5pm-late
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