Jake Smyth and Kenny Graham are firm believers in making the town you live in better, not moving to a better town. It was this idea that underpinned their decision to revive the beloved Lansdowne Hotel in Chippendale and its band room, and the same mentality means they are responsible for the new lease on life for defunct music venue, the Basement.
Mary's Underground will be a new addition to Sydney's after hours scene, and crucially, will offer free, live entertainment every night of the week. The plan is to have a simpler bar and burger concept upstairs at street level, not unlike the offering at their original venue in Newtown. They've got 100 seats to play with, plus a proper licence for after-work drinks, outdoor tables, and there's talk of a takeaway window down the lane for a quick-getaway Mary's burger.
Downstairs, the vibe is going to be slightly more formal, with a proper restaurant and wine bar (sharing more DNA with their latest concept, Mary's Pizzeria). They're moving the stage slightly but the bar is staying put. They're even putting in a dedicated vegan menu for our plant-loving pals. This is also where the tunes will live. Smyth is keen to stress that while it will be live music, this isn't exclusively about indie breakout acts and the next big thing. Entertainment is their number one priority so maybe one night will be jazz, another soul covers or traditional blues, and things will get louder and more party-hardy as the week progresses.
As we've come to expect from this team, the booze will be Aussie, the wines will be natural, and sustainable measures will be in place wherever possible.
Mary's Underground is due to open around May 2019.
If you can't wait that long to party, check out the best clubs and nightlife hot spots in Sydney.