Sydney’s small bar epidemic is at its peak, and no lane or alleyway is safe from its symptoms. Needless to say, Sydneysiders are finding it hard to keep up with the dizzying number of small bars opening after recent changes to the city’s historically strict and expensive licensing laws. One bar, though, set the pace for the rest, and with crowds still flocking in masses, there’s no doubt she’s a stayer.
The Baxter Inn can be found down a nondescript Clarence Street alleyway where New York–style steam rises from the footpath and an always classy bouncer greets you. Down the fire escape, you find yourself in an intimate American-esque saloon with blues in the background, photographs of boxing legends on the walls, and one of the most extensive libraries of alcohol you may ever see (the bartenders use ladders to reach some of the more expensive offerings).
This dimly-lit haven attracts all types but is a special favorite of those who love their scotch, unique beers, and classic cocktails made by people who know what they’re doing—and they do. At the Baxter Inn, it’s all about the bar—you’ll find complementary pretzels here, but that’s about as far as the culinary offerings go. For the drink devotees (of which Sydney has many) this is the best kind of bar.