Sydney bartending dynamos Michael Chiem and Thor Bergquist are now only a week away from finally opening the doors on their brand spanking new city soda bar, PS 40. Clearly you need extreme fortitude in the bar business in Sydney – it took 18 months from first seeing the site to get to this point. And man do we need some more good news for Sydney after dark.
Luckily what we’re hearing from Chiem is getting a big thumbs up, including the fact that six out of the eight taps in the venue will be pouring the house-made soft drinks. This means you can choose your poison like some sort of adults only pick-n-mix. Of course if you want something a bit more complicated than a vodka and smoked lemonade or a lemon myrtle bush tonic with gin, there are going to be ten cocktails on the opening menu that will change with the whim of the bartenders and the tides, probably. But we’re pretty keen to try their wattle cola, the blackstrap ginger, gentian and grapefruit and maybe even a splash of their creaming soda, which was made with a 5kg of pumice from a Hunter Valley winery.
Unlike the spate of recent Sydney venues that are going hard on the food front (Dead Ringer and Easy Eight, we’re looking at you) PS 40 is only going to be dabbling in bar snacks which look set to include a banh mi made with bí, which is shredded pork skin tossed through with rice powder, plus a spring onion oil instead of fresh allium. You can also expect cheese, charcuterie and a dip – classic bar snack fare will be ruling the roost here.
The 60 person bar will be all about the table service, and to compliment the lines of the heritage-listed building they’ve gone for what sounds like a mod vibe dominated by black and white with pops of colour. And it’s not even underground. “We have sunlight,” says Chiem. “There are big windows but it’s still kind of private. It’s not too hidden either.”
PS 40 opening mid-April. 40 King St, Sydney 2000. www.ps-soda.com. Mon-Sat 4pm-Midnight.