New York's famous bar scene is worth a trip in its own right, but it makes life easier when they bring the speakeasies to us, specifically the Antipodean wing of Employees Only. In NYC you access this famous hidden venue through a fortune teller, behind which hides an Art Deco bar with chef-coat–clad barkeeps. Easy sipping libations are the order of the day. Now they're bringing their cocktail chops to a heritage-listed basement in the CBD in November 2018.
One of the original co-founders, Dushan Zaric, is spearheading the southern hemisphere outpost, joining sister bars in Hong Kong, Singapore and Miami. Sydney-native Anna Fang is the venue manager, bringing her local knowledge to the operation. But for diehard fans, they're also bringing their classic cocktails: the Amelia made with vodka, elderflower liqueur, pureed blackberries and fresh lemon; and the Provençal, made with lavender-infused gin, herbs de Provence infused vermouth and Cointreau.
Plus they're importing the recipe for their hand-cut filet mignon steak tartare, pancetta-wrapped lamb chops, and bone marrow poppers.
Perhaps this is a turning point for the city's nighttime revival, as Employees Only join other city newcomers Old Mate's Place to swell the ranks of our quality drinking establishments.
Employees Only opens in late November 2018.
If you're thirsty now, here are the 50 best bars in Sydney to tide you over.