The Greens

Bars North Sydney
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At last, a green oasis brings weekend vibes to North Sydney

You know what’s guaranteed to make your day better? A little suitcase of fresh cinnamon doughnuts. That's what. And as long as it’s a Friday, Saturday or Sunday, you can get your hands on those puffy, golden rings dusted in cinnamon sugar for just two bucks a pop at the Greens in North Sydney.

As old boozers across town get extreme makeovers, it was only a matter of time before the city’s clubs caught the attention of the renewal squad. Bowling greens occupy some of the top locations in Sydney, and as the popularity of the low-impact pastime wanes, a lot of prime space for cocktails, petting zoos, garden parties and long lunches opens up.

If you’re getting a Grounds of Alexandria vibe, it’s because there are two former Grounds chefs, Lilly and Nathan Fasan, working the kitchen. Plus they have that aforementioned petting zoo, open Sundays from 1-3pm and boasting an aviary, chickens and rabbits.

Don’t have kids or matching Pomeranians to bring with you? This is still the nicest spot in North Sydney for a Campari and soda, best enjoyed out by the greens while the sea breeze from Neutral Bay wafts up the hill. You’re surrounded by ovals and fenced in on one side by the freeway; it’s a remarkably relaxed spot.

Classic cocktails are painted on one wall and house concoctions are on the menu. They all cost $17, but the per-head price drops if you order jugs of Pimm’s or spiked black tea. We won’t say no to a stubby of the hoppy, fragrant Sierra Nevada pale ale, but there are plenty of sessionable brews on tap – Little Creatures, Squires, Young Henrys and Peroni – to fill out a sunny afternoon.

If you just feel like grazing, order the barman’s plate. It would easily feed two, and though the scotch egg and fresh cherry tomatoes could use heavier seasoning, there’s rich pork terrine, salumi, olives, gently pickled carrots and onion fronds to bring slat and acid to the plate. For swift satisfaction the wagyu beef burger is the ticket - juicy patty, sweet bun, cheese, pickles, lettuce, tomato and a creamy, smoky sauce. With this and Five Points down the road, North Sydney is joining the burger brigade with gusto.

You’ve still got one lawn dedicated to bowlers, but the other half of the club has kicked off a new life as a shiny hotspot for cocktails and charcuterie – and both sides seem to exist in harmony. We’re not saying this technique will work across the board, but North Sydney keeps its club and gains a buzzy weekend destination. Win-win.

By: Emily Lloyd-Tait


Venue name: The Greens
Address: 50 Ridge St
North Sydney
Opening hours: Mon-Thurs 11.30am-11pm; Fri-Sat 11.30am-midnight; Sun 11.30am-11pm
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