Nothing says 'summer is coming' like news of a new rooftop bar in the CBD. The one in question is the very first venture from Dre Walters (ex Lobo Plantation and Kittyhawk), his partner Gabrielle, and Dan Noble (ex Ramblin' Rascal Tavern).
Taking a leaf out of Tokyo's book, the team decided to embrace the upper stories of our city buildings, opening up on the fourth floor at 199 Clarence Street. But the best bit is even further up the stairs, where the venue opens out into a beautiful, airy, 40-person rooftop decked out in a Pinterest board's worth of plantlife.
Downstairs they've gone for a kind of Poe-meets-Jumunji, southern gothic vibe, decking out the long room like an old library, complete with turn-of-the-century volumes sourced from book fairs and vintage shops across the state. Add in dome clocks, a 1950s chandelier taken from a local mansion, and an antique vanity and the look is complete.
And in great news for night owls, they have a 2am license, which means you've suddenly got somewhere to go for a really good cheeseboard after seeing a show or a movie in town. They're also working on a proper Philly cheesesteak, and perfecting a deli-style sambo in the vein of a Reuben.
Given they're opening in Sydney's premiere bar region, Walters is taking a very egalitarian approach to his new venue. "There's no point competing with a rum bar, a whisky or a gin bar that are at the top of their game. It's just going to be a bar for everyone... we figure if you create a nice environment, nice people will come. "
Right now Old Mate's Place is being used as the home base for a Wild Turkey whiskey tasting experience. The last day is Saturday, August 11, after which they'll turn the bar around and prepare for launch as Old Mate's Place in late August.
Old Mate's Place opens late August 2018.
Can't wait that long for a drink? Try Sydney's best cocktail bars on for size.