Sol­era

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

Time Out (Sydney) - - BAR AWARDS -

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.

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