Liquor laws and laneways

October 2010

You might have noticed a piece in the SMH recently on the clash between publicans, bar owners and council over a system that would punish licensees whose venues attract “violent and noisy behaviour” by closing them down early. The same story said the council recorded 6000 people on Bayswater Road in Kings Cross between 1am and 2am one Saturday night. And the Cross is changing because of it. You might have noticed that Blanco closed recently and Tony Bilson missed out on getting Bayswater Brasserie in favour of a steak joint which, the way things stand, was probably a better choice. But it needn’t be like this. We mentioned Grasshopper (Temperance Lane, Sydney, Ph 9947 9025) as an example of a really good bar/restaurant. It’s tiny, over two floors and serves really good food. The places in the Cross like the Sugar Mill are way too big and through no fault of their own become part of the problem. Will we get the balance right? Or do Sydney people just like to get rat-faced with hundreds of their mates? Remember the dopey head of the Australian Hotel Association who said Sydneysiders didn’t want to sit in a little bar sipping chardonnay and reading poetry like that effete mob from Melbourne. Well, hey, drop in on Sappho’s Bookshop and Wine Bar (52 Glebe Point Road, Ph 9552 4498) some afternoon and surely they can’t all be from Melbourne?

And another little bar: Not content with wowing them with Bacco at Chifley Square, October sees another Bacco Wine Bar Pasticceria (Level 2 QVB Building George Street, Ph 9282 5230) in another of Sydney’s grand spaces. The mix is as before: wine, food and bring your own women/men — or whatever.

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