If you’ve ever complained about the not-so-great drinks on offer in most theatres, gig venues and arts spaces around Sydney, Meraki Arts Bar has you sorted.
Bartender and actor Kieran Took has teamed up with the artistic director of Brave New Word Theatre Company Luke Holmes, feminist director Margaret Thanos and venue manager Bertie Boekemann to bring a new theatre/gig venue/art gallery/casual dining space to Oxford Street. It boasts a jam-packed events calendar, including independent theatre, drag trivia, live jazz, burlesque, late-night comedy, art shows and even magic shows.
On the first floor sits the Gallery Lounge, a cosy cocktail lounge with a tiny gallery wall for peering at from your table or inspecting while your date pops to the bathroom. Later in the evening, they might even clear out the tables to make way for a dancefloor. The second floor hosts the Gig Bar, an intimate spot for busting your best moves with delicious beer in hand and bands of all descriptions taking to the red velvet hemmed stage.
The Green Room and the MainStage live on the uppermost floor, a hidden speakeasy dressed up in green jewel tones next to a fifty-seat theatre with a rich history you can read about in the Green Room’s menu (before you get to the thirty delicious classic cocktails). Don’t forget to take full advantage of the “Artist’s Happy Hour” before your arts event of choice, with $8 beers and $15 cocktails from 6-7pm every day they open.
In need of a feed to fuel you up before a gig, or as you debrief over your evening's entertainment? The menu offers everything from mix-and-match housemade pies to a rich jambalaya (keep it vegan-friendly, or pimp it out with prawns and chorizo). Those among us with dietary needs should find something on the menu to fill you up without compromise.
Meraki is open for delicious snacks, arty goodness and great cocktails from Tuesday to Saturday until late. Find their events calendar here, follow them on Instagram @merakisyd, and find MainStage theatre’s Instagram including 2023 season offerings @merakimainstage.