The Workers

Bars, Cocktail bars Balmain
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Political history just got a whole lot more fun at the Workers

Arriving at the top of the stairs at the Workers you would be forgiven for thinking you’d stumbled into a diner decorated by the Mad Hatter – assuming the Mad Hatter were a big fan of former Australian PMs. Plants are growing up the walls, red vinyl booths are paired with ornate, oversized dining chairs on tartan carpet, and all around are images and quotes paying homage to the building’s history as HQ for Sydney's first Labor Electoral League (including near-billboard-sized pictures on the ceiling of Hawke, Whitlam and Wran that may haunt your dreams). It’s a little kitsch, but the 20-to-30-somethings who frequent the place don’t seem to mind. Head around to the left and you’ll find the rooftop “garden” – a faux-grassed outdoor terrace, and on the right there’s more subdued dining and lounge areas that often get overlooked. The staff are welcoming and only too happy to pour you an Asahi or Fat Yak, or pop the top off a Redback, Mountain Goat or Beez Neez. You can even sample a 2008 Penfolds Grange if you've got a spare $1,950. The food menu has a Mexican bent with vego-friendly fried zucchini tacos, quesadillas and nachos and enough hot sauces on the table to blow a hole in your trachea. Indie and hip hop dominate the stereo, there’s weekly live music and Wednesday is comedy night. For something a little more playful than the old guard Balmain pubs, the Workers is well worth a look. Anyone who doesn’t agree is a bum!

By: Kristen Rooke


Venue name: The Workers
Address: Level 1, 292 Darling Street
Opening hours: Thu 5pm-2am; Fri 5pm-3am; Sat; noon-3am, Sun noon-midnight
Price: $10-$50

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