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  1. Whiskey bottles
    Photograph: Supplied
  2. A drumkit and guitars on a stage
    Photograph: Supplied
  3. A cocktail with a tiny American flag
    Photograph: Supplied
  4. A red booth table with a picture of johnny cash above it
    Photograph: Supplied
  5. A hotdog
    Photograph: Supplied
  6. A hurricane cocktail with a tiny flamingo garnish
    Photograph: Supplied

Time Out says

Tennessee comes to the Sydney CBD at this basement whiskey bar

If there's one bar trend that Sydney loves, it's a hidden laneway or basement bar and the promise of good things that come to those that seek them out. The newest basement bar to enter the scene is Jolene's, a Tennessee-inspired whiskey bar in the old space that Mojo Record Bar occupied, named in honour of the pint-sized Queen of Country, Dolly Parton, and her timeless megahit song that is the bar's namesake.

Whatever your flavour, Jolene’s will cater to just about every malt, rye, grain and wheat-based whim, with over 150 whiskeys on the back bar, 100 of which are American imports. The divey-vibed venture by Simon Rose-Hopkins (Surly’s American BBQ, Nola Smokehouse & Bar) is bringing boozy education, rock and roll, and Southern hospitality to the CBD Wednesday to Sunday.

The signature cocktail list is all-out Americana, from the Dolly Parton delight of Islands In The Stream – a boozy tropical juice with Tennessee whiskey – and the Superbowl Sundae – a coffee cocktail topped with a pancake whipped cream. Class things up with a Trash Panda of Drambuie, coconut and pineapple inspired by the state animal of Tennessee, the noble raccoon.

There is also a diner-style menu of hush puppies and loaded hotdogs to keep you going all night. 

Each booth is named lovingly after a country musician (including Taylor Swift, hell yeah) and the former record room has been converted into a stage so you can get down with some of Sydney's best country and blues bands four nights a week.

Love to do a bit of sleuthing to get your booze? Check out Sydney best underground bars here.

Written by
Elizabeth McDonald


73 York Street
View Website
Opening hours:
Wed-Sun, 4pm-late
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