Scattered plants and cosy wooden tables in the courtyard make the Commons a summer hot spot within the 2010 zone, but the bar’s sandstone rooms are where it’s at all year round. A three-level, split-storey building just off Oxford Street, it has a dining room that is warm, brightly lit and buzzing with loud chatter as groups chug vino and snack on the killer ploughman’s lunch. Despise gherkins? Pick from seasonal share plates made from local produce like duck liver pâté and rabbit terrine. This joint is packed with personality, right down to the seating; take your pick from church pews or school desks. There’s also Downtown Bar – a dark, moody cellar where every nook is filled with benches where you can drink (and eat, when it’s full upstairs). It’s sexy down here – score a table when it’s busy and you’ll be pressed up against strangers. Plus, they do table service, so drinks keep coming all night. The wine menu is decently varied but get a cocktail to start – they’ll stir together anything you want as long as they’ve got the ingredients on them (old faithfuls like Whisky Sours and Vodka Espressos included). Come Wednesday or Thursday night when a blues band plays Downtown. The Commons put on a great show every night, but live music turns this place into the best underground bar in the hood.
Time Out Awards
2011Best Small Bar
View this year's Time Out Bar Award winners