Turns out what the people want in 2018 is to drink Champagne in historic surrounds from a chair that makes you feel like minor royalty
TALK ABOUT SHOOTING fish in a barrel. Opening a bar in a little stone heritage building that sits at the base of a shiny corporate HQ on Hickson Road – a mere spitting distance from Barangaroo’s mass of offices – means people can go from computer screen to Champagne in record time. In fact, those two Champers fridges mounted up behind the bar are a pretty good indication of who is coming to this new addition to the Barangaroo precinct and why. Slap down that company card and pop corks on a bottle of the Perrier-Jouët rosé that tastes like cherry brioche and is also available by the glass. Maybe you want something elaborate and finicky, like a riff on a Daiquiri with a tiki tropicality, made with dark rum? Or perhaps you want a cocktail that tastes the way expensive spas in five-star resorts smell. That’d be the Gaslight, made with Sichuan pepper-infused gin with a healthy baseline of Earl Grey and a backing chorus of citrus. It’s also served in a light globe-shaped glass as a nod to the origins of the heritagelisted building that was once a gasworks. The sandstone walls, thick, timber pillars and old mechanical winch are still intact, and for the rest it looks like they’re taking decorating tips from European oligarchs of times past. There are peacock murals, blue velvet bar chairs (some of the most comfortable we’ve sat on in recent memory), and two shiny brass lobsters are proudly displayed behind the bar. They tell us someone left them behind one night and haven’t asked for them back, so they’ve bought crabs and prawns to add to the collection. On the food menu there are no corresponding crustacean capers to be had: just nuts, olives, cheeses, cured meats, and soon, a Reuben sandwich. That hasn’t stopped them gaining fans fast. They’ve only been open for a matter of weeks and yet they’ve won hearts, minds and Facebook friends aplenty, which is how they’ve taken out People’s Choice in the 2018 Time Out Sydney Bar Awards. 36 Hickson Rd, Millers Point 2000. solera.bar. MonFri 4pm-midnight; Sat 5pm-midnight.