Whispers that famed New York speakeasy, Employees Only, was opening a Sydney branch have long been heard around Sydney's bar scene, but this Saturday night from 9pm they will turn on the neon 'psychic' sign and open the heritage doors on the subterranean bar at Barrack Street in the city. As you might have guessed, there will be a lot of beautiful brass, warm timber, green velvet and low lighting in the Antipodean outlet, including a séance room that can hold five believers and a whole lot of cathedral candles for dramatic effect. Need to Insta-story your visit but low on juice? They also have lockers equipped with a charging station.
Employees Only Sydney will be continuing the bar's reputation for championing hospitality staff, serving food and drink until 3am Monday through Saturday, and until midnight on Sundays. This means everyone will get an opportunity to sample their signature Amelia cocktail, made with with bison grass vodka, elderflower liqueur, lemon juice and pureed blackberries. For something tropical and spicy there's also the Ginger Smash, made with ginger, mango, dark rum, falernum, maraschino liqueur and lime. They're even putting avocado in a drink with pisco, lime, suze and chickpea water.
Snacks will be Frenchish, Americanish and will include the option to purchase the staff meal, which will change each night. They also have a late-night menu that will run until 3am, including the famous closing time chicken soup they serve as last drinks, plus Berkshire pork cottaletta with slaw; a beef burger with jalapeño cheese, relish, pickles and pancetta; steak tartare; and bone marrow poppers.
Employees Only Sydney, 9a Barrack St, Sydney 2000. Mon-Sat 5pm-3am; Sun 5pm-midnight.
Make it a bar crawl and add these ace Sydney cocktail bars to the list.