For the last six weeks of the year some of the best bars in Sydney will be extending their trading hours and opening on Sunday. And with all the end-of-year celebrating and catching up you have to somehow squeeze into your agenda, that's an extremely helpful development. These bars are the cream of the crop: Time Out award winners, five-star establishments, and even a brand new Sydney outpost of one of New York's best and most famous speakeasies.
The bars are all located within coo-ee of each other in the central business district, bringing a welcome buzz to the city on a Sunday. Whether you need to put your feet up and have a cocktail after knocking over your Christmas shopping, or want get a posse together and do an afternoon crawl of some of the finest bars in town, Sunday fun days begin right here.
Experimental Sundays will be an insight into the minds behind one of the best cocktail bars in Sydney, featuring a couple of rotating experimental drinks that might make it onto future menus. And as it is a typical lazy Sunday affair there will be a list of PS40-styled all-day brunch cocktails as well as a Sunday-only brunch menu: think leftover banh mi bread ice cream sandwiches and a DIY brined pork chop san choy bow. Open 2-10pm on Sundays.
The Old Mate's Place rooftop provides a perfect start to a Sunday in the CBD. You can drink on the roof among the palms and festoon lights, or you can get cocktails that deserve their place in a leather-bound tome downstairs under the chandeliers. Either way, you’ll need one of their booze-sopping Philly cheesesteaks that’s so soft and melty you barely need to chew the swatches of tender beef, diced peppers and cheese in a pillowy white roll. Open 2pm-2am on Sundays.
They’ve kept things pared back and simple in this cosy burrow off a city laneway. Little native floral bunches adorn the tables, there are a few club lounges up the back and they’ve wound fake vines around some of the exposed beams and struts. What it all adds up to is the kind of bar you can visit in any mood. Here, they're doing inventive cocktails and a killer Reuben sandwich. If you’ve been looking for a low-key haunt in the CBD, this is a good place to cool your heels. Open 4pm-midnight on Sundays.
Mikey Enright, gin maestro and owner of the Barber Shop, has extended his booze empire about ten metres to the right with a proper British establishment named the Duke of Clarence. The venue boasts all the trappings of a 19th century tavern. They can pull you a perfect pint of Guinness, but really, this is a bar in pub’s clothing: a slender, licensed slice of the city designed to transport you to a different time and place. Start your Sunday right with the Duke of Clarence roast: British-bred roast beef sirloin is served with housemade gravy, Dutch carrots, broccolini, peas, beef fat-roasted potatoes and Yorkshire pudding. Open noon-9pm on Sundays.
The Antipodean wing of Employees Only, the famous NYC speakeasy, opens on November 24. Expect the classic Employees Only cocktails: the Amelia made with vodka, elderflower liqueur, puréed blackberries and fresh lemon; and the Provençal, made with lavender-infused gin and herbs de Provence-infused vermouth and Cointreau. They're also importing the recipe for their hand-cut filet mignon steak tartare, pancetta-wrapped lamb chops, and bone marrow poppers. Open 4pm-midnight on Sundays.