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Sydney's Small-Bar Explosion

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Ever since the city loosened its alcohol licensing laws in 2008, small bars have been popping up in every street, alley, and basement. This has led to an incredibly diverse drinking scene fueled by unique concepts, great cocktails, and even better vibes.
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152-156 Clarence St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
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...
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80 Commonwealth St, Surry Hills NSW 2010, Australia
Flickering candles, velvet theater curtains, hushed conversation, and classic cocktails dressed up with slices of dried lemon or lime—the Golden Age Cinema and Bar feels like a secret supper club of yesteryear. Yet, with a geometric light...
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143 Curlewis St, Bondi Beach NSW 2026, Australia
Welcome to the Neighbourhood: the old Bondi FM radio station that's been reinvented as a local watering hole with an equal dose of style and heart. The space is a hodgepodge of brick, upcycled wood, old crates, and reclaimed light fixtures, and...
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229 Darlinghurst Rd, Sydney NSW 2010, Australia
Eau-De-Vie in Darlinghurst is regarded by many Sydneysiders as the best bar in town. I was there on a quiet night but still loved the place and people. The bartenders rock, and the drinks are spectacular. It's the perfect place to start or end a...
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4/256 Crown St, Darlinghurst NSW 2010, Australia
Speakeasies and secret bars are an ongoing trend in Australian cities, namely Melbourne and Sydney. Down an unassuming alley off Crown Street, behind an equally unassuming doorway, lies Shady Pines Saloon—if it weren’t for the...
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6 Mary St, Newtown NSW 2042, Australia
Like many of the hippest bars in town, Mary’s is intentionally hard to find. As you make your way down King Street, hang a right on Mary Street and look for a bar on the left with no sign and a rocker crowd. Inside the two-story tavern, a...
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110 Spring St, Bondi Junction NSW 2022, Australia
Known mostly for its Westfield shopping center and hordes of commuters waiting for buses and trains, Bondi Junction is the unlikely locale for an underground bar and music venue. But Spring Street Social is the newest venture to help Sydneysiders...