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Owners Luke Ashton and Charlie Ainsbury behind the bar making co
Photograph: Anna Kucera

One of Sydney's best bars is getting an apocalyptic makeover

Written by
Jordi Kretchmer

It's the hypothetical end of the world for Oxford Street's favourite spritzer bar, This Must Be the Place. Don't worry – they aren't shutting their doors – the bar is using the concept as a creative launching pad, reimagining the entire menu as if the bar had to function in a dystopian future, much like The Handmaid's Tale.

This Must Be the End is the new concept for the Darlinghurst cocktail bar, reduxing their entire offering centred around a dystopian future. The revised concept will be in place for six months, transforming the cocktail lists and design to reflect a zombie-like apocalypse where access to fresh produce is limited and conventional agriculture is non-existent.

The idea came to life when owner Luke Ashton wanted to explore sustainability and highlight the fragile nature of the environment and our food systems. "Citrus is a luxury crop, especially lemons and limes, which have a significant environmental impact through their reliance on fossil fuels and nitrogen-based fertiliser in their production," Aston explains.

To this end, the bar's ingredients inventory will get a total overhaul. They'll be restricted to using dry store products (so any shelf-stable products with a minimum one-year expiry date) and house-fermented potions (think kombucha, kefir and mead), alongside found and grown resources (plants and herbs already in the local community or that are grown on-premise). Essentially the bar will function like a bunker, with a finite amount of resources. 

These days the terms 'paddock-to-plate' or 'seasonal produce' are thrown around with frivolity – but  'post-apocalyptic' or 'catastrophic cocktails', not so much... So we're looking forward to seeing what this five-star bar can do with limited resources and a new creative focus.

Want more excellent great drinking dens? Check out our guide to the best bars in Sydney.

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