Although it is hidden away in a basement on Clarence Street, by no means is The Baxter Inn a quiet bar. Owned by the same pair responsible for the Shady Pines Saloon, this whiskey bar takes its inspiration from the Prohibition Era speakeasies. In keeping with the theme, you get a change from the usual bar music, being treated instead to tunes from the 1920s, enhanced by fantastic acoustics. That's just the beginning, though; the real winner is the wall of whiskey, which boasts over 300 varieties. The bartenders are more than willing to make suggestions, and will even hand you some complimentary pretzels while you wait for your order.
A small bar with a laid-back, unpretentious vibe, Bulletin Place is perfect for a relaxed night out. This is a bar that places a lot of emphasis on personalized service, and it certainly delivers. Wooden floors, communal tables, mural-adorned distressed walls and lots of potted plants lend this bar a rustic appeal, which, coupled with the service, makes for a wonderful experience. The handwritten chart of cocktails displays new names every day, and there is also a good selection of whiskeys and wines. Reservations are not accepted.
When people talk about a hidden gem, they usually mean it's in an out of the way street or that it lacks the expected signage. Eau de Vie truly is hidden, found only by heading past the street-front bar of the Kirketon Hotel and down a dimly lit corridor. However, finding it is more than worth the effort. What awaits you is a speakeasy-style bar decked out in dark wood and leather and an expert cocktail team. These mixologists and their attention to detail have made Eau De Vie one of Sydney's best cocktail bars. The martinis, which are served on liquid nitrogen, are a special treat.
Once all cut off jeans, leather or tight t-shirts this place is changing. Up with the times, the Midnight Shift or simply ‘the shift' as its known to locals is slowly moving from being a gay male only club and bar to a more liberated venue. However, generally Saturday night is a Boys Zone. Entry is usually free, so it is worth checking out if it sounds like your thing. Dark and a bit dingy, the dance floor gets crowded and sweaty and things do not really get going until well after midnight.
Chinese Laundry is an underground party hot-spot that is an extension of the Slip Inn club. With a strong Eastern influence and rustic touches to the interiors, the oriental theme is welcoming with bright colors around. With a great atmosphere, increasing crowd every night and a booming sound system, Chinese Laundry is very popular. It is highly regarded for its electro, techno and house night with a number of international and fine DJs featured nightly to rock the house.
The ultra-modern, uber trendy luxe Ivy is the newest and hippest way to party in style. This upmarket CBD nightclub is a regular to the fashionistas and style-conscious crowds of Sydney and is anything but lame. Built on three massive levels and housing over eight bars in all, the chic and modern interiors, warm friendly staff and extravagant services that the place offers would make even the most hard-core party animal salivate at the mouth. Once inside get lost within the different areas, the lounge, courtyard, under the Japanese maple tree and any cozy spot that you can call your own. With places like these, who needs to look elsewhere for the entire month's schedule?