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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
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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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