It’s well known how much Aussie’s love their bars, and lately, there have been more and more themed spots emerging around Australia. The culture is forever growing, even attracting international attention. From the glowing shot that went viral, to the homage of pop cult icons and old-timey saloons. It is truly difficult to pinpoint the best out of so many. Nevertheless, I feel a worthy attempt is made.
#1 Shady Pines Saloon – Sydney
Need a place to wet your whistle? Or a place to be able to say ’wet your whistle’? Shady Pines Saloon, a watering hole in Sydney, is a Western style bar where anyone can hang their hat. It has all the makings of a Western Saloon; the wooden counter that extends around the bar, the low-lighting, the large displays of taxidermy and of course, the straight spirits. It has quickly become known as a very friendly place to drink. Their website specifically advertises there are no functions, bookings or door lists. It is welcome to everyone!
#2 Coal & Cedar – Newcastle
Coal and Cedar has been quite the mysterious bar since its opening. I’ve only recently discovered it myself. It’s a retro themed bar, having been compared to the ‘speakeasy’ style of the liquor establishments during the American Prohibition era. While not as hush-hush as those during Prohibition, it does have the reputation of being on the secretive side. The condition of entry? It’s not just a matter of walking in. You’ll need to acquire a special code and send a text to the number they leave on the wall outside!
#3 Viscosity Bar (Science Themed Bar) – Stanthorpe, Queensland
I love the idea of having a drink that looks like it was from an 80’s sci-fi movie. Where you go to take a shot or sip a cocktail, and as you put it to your lips, you notice radioactive strands of liquid permeating throughout your drink. As off-putting as that may sound, you have nothing to fear. Viscosity is a science themed bar and truly highlights the art of the alcoholic concoction. When both your drink and the bar radiate those neon lights, it’ll be like you’re in the future. You just know Blade Runners hang out at this joint.
#4 George’s Bar (‘A Bar About Nothing’) – Melbourne
This is a particularly interesting one for me. As a Seinfeld enthusiast, I couldn’t imagine a safer place to drink; being surrounded by the neurotic utterances of Mr. George Constanza. Seinfeld was a hilarious sitcom in the 90’s, and still captures fans today. You’ll come across the interesting mix of toasties and cocktails, each containing a particular theme in reference to the show. You’ll see a multitude of drawings, pictures and quotes dedicated to the character. At George’s Bar you will find everything Constanza.
”If you take everything I’ve accomplished in my life and condense it down to one day, it looks decent!” – George Constanza.
#5 The Classroom – Perth
I know, I know. Who wants to be reminded of going to school? But relax, there are no tests, other than how many cocktails you’d like to explore. However, if you are feeling a little reminiscent about being younger. Why not order such cocktails as the ‘Spongebob Pineapple Pants’, the “Hubba Bubba’ or the ‘Principal Rose Fizz’? The interior itself is composed of reused furniture from actual schools. There are desks and chairs, shelves filled with books and miscellaneous items of youthful nostalgia. This is your perfect destination for a school reunion.
Image source: HUNTERhunter and Broadsheet