Tag Archives: cockatoo island

SOCIAL SPY** The Rubens play Time Out Sydney’s fifth annual bar awards, plus Baxter Inn takes home the gong

If you’re looking for some great Sydney datinf venues, this should provide you with some inspiration…

The fifth annual Time Out Sydney Bar Awards – Sydney’s only consumer-based bar awards – were held Sunday the 21st of October on Cockatoo Island. The cream of Sydney’s bar scene – from industry legends to hot up-and-comers – kicked back, enjoyed drinks on the harbour and clinked more than a few glasses with Time Out readers. Of course, no Time Out event is complete without some good old fashioned rock’n’roll. This year, the Rubens headlined, playing a one-off gig fresh off their latest sold-out tour just for Time Out.

Five hundred people hopped the ferry for the awards, including Sneaky Sound System’s Angus McDonald, who presented the Hall of Fame Award to Icebergs’ Maurice Terzini. Whisky den the Baxter Inn took home Bar of the Year, while tequila slosh house Tio’s went away with Best New Bar. People’s Choice, an award voted by over 2,000 Time Out readers, was given to Mojo Record Bar. Best Bar Food went to Neil Perry’s Rockpool Bar & Grill.

“Time Out awards the best of the best. It’s independent, and refreshingly agenda-free. The only thing we’re interested in at these awards is celebrating our quality Sydney bar scene,” said Time Out’s Chief Food and Drink Critic, Myffy Rigby.

The Midnight Special, Enmore’s favourite little record bar, left the island with the award for Best Entertainment while Best Design went to Hinky Dinks. For the first time ever, Time Out gave over the reins to ten of Sydney’s most respected bartenders, asking them to each elect their picks for Hot Talent. The award went to Black Bar’s Michael Chiem, while Baxter Inn’s Lewis Jaffrey picked up the award for Best Bartender.

Best Wine Bar was won for the second time in three years by the Wine Library, while newcomers the Hazy Rose took out Best Small Bar. Late-night speakeasy Palmer and Co brought it home with Best Cocktail Bar, while the Local Taphouse did craft beer proud winning Best Pub.

Time Out Sydney Bar Awards 2013 winners

  • Best Bartender Lewis Jaffrey
  • Best Cocktail Bar Palmer and Co
  • Best Small Bar The Hazy Rose
  • Best Wine Bar Wine Library
  • Best Pub The Local Taphouse
  • Best Design Hinky Dinks
  • Hot Talent Michael Chiem, Black by Ezard
  • Best Entertainment Midnight Special
  • Best Bar Food Rockpool Bar & Grill

Well done to all involved! An amazing event and great recognition for Sydney’s growing bar scene!

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How very swish, my first ever bar review – The Island Bar – Cockatoo Island

So working in PR daahhrrrllliiinnggggg I’m used to being the one that organises the event and get the cool media types to attend. I have also been guilty of engaging food/ mummy/ fashion bloggers to come along too. So as I’m sure you can appreciate it’s nice to be on the other side of a media launch event for once.

More than anything else I appreciate the hard work that goes on ‘behind the scenes’, so it was with a gracious attitude that I attend the official media launch, the launch of The Island Bar – Cockatoo Island. (More images to follow shortly)

The invite explained that water taxis would transfer us to the venue at 5:45pm and 6:00pm, as I have a day job it was the latter for me! Now as I hail from faraway shores, the water taxi in itself was somewhat of an experience for me as much as the event! (Well not as much, but still exciting non-the-less!)

The journey took us past the opulent Opera House at dusk and under the stunning Sydney Harbour Bridge, quite the scenic route indeed!

The journey was short but sweet, about five minutes. We arrived at Cockatoo Island to see the bar in all its glory. Quirky industrial machinery is peppered around the site, which is somewhat eerie, partly due to its history and partly due to how quiet it is. You would never believe that you were just a short boat ride from the heart of Sydney, or for that matter on the site of a former imperial prison!

Cockatoo Island is the largest island in Sydney Harbour and is located at the junction of the Parramatta and Lane Cove rivers. It is the site of one of Australia’s biggest shipyards during the twentieth century. The first of its two dry docks was built by convicts and was completed in 1857.

As you approach the bar you can see three shipping containers that have been transformed to create a venue like I’ve never seen before. A bar with two levels, two hanging egg chairs and fully trained mixologists no less!

Outside the views of the harbour are breathtaking, the Sydney Harbour bridge is in the distance along with the iconic Sydney skyline on the horizon. The astro turf at the back of the bar adds a cool are deco twist, along with the deck chairs and parasols aplenty to take in the view. The ecliptic mixture of an amazing space, tasty cocktails, beautiful people and soulful music performed by local Sydney band Kinetic Method (highly recommended!), they certainly ensured that they’d dotted all their Is and crossed all of their Ts.

The concept for the venue came about by renowned Sydney mixologist the charismatic Marco Faraone, of Bacco in Chifley Plaza and formerly Lotus in Potts Point. The bar definitely lives up to the calibre of his previous ventures – fun, relaxed and with the best quality drinks and food.

Signature cocktails and drinks were served by the beautiful bar staff that were just perfect for ‘aperitivo’- as we all watched the sun go down over Sydney with a perfectly blended drink and an Italian accented snack.

The drinks, ahhhh the lovely drinks… what can I say… here goes: the cocktails were inspired by some of the finest brands around and definitely weren’t shy when it came to the measures: signature cocktails were available by Campari, Sauza tequila, Russian Standard Vodka, Hendrick’s Gin, Maker’s Mark and Mount Gay rum ( personal fave of mine – can’t go wrong with a Mount Gay, Diet Coke and a generous squeeze of lime!). Peroni and Grolsch beers were also on tap along with Jacob’s Creek and Brancott Estate wines.

If you fancy attending The Island Bar, it will be open every day and entry to the UNESCO World Heritage listed island is free. Transport is easy too (and a LOT of fun in my opinion – did I mention you go under the harbour bridge?!) with regular ferry services, getting you from the heart of the city at Circular Quay to the Island in 12 minutes.

A rolling calendar of exciting events will take place at The Island Bar each week, including:

  • Sunday Bloody Mary sessions
  • Mastering the Margarita with Jason Crawley
  • Croquet & Bocce (Italian bowls) competitions
  • Laid back summer tunes throughout the day with intimate live acoustic acts
  • Public events: New Years Eve and Australia Day festivities.

 With its relaxed bar vibe, fantastic views and professional team of bartenders, The Island Bar on Cockatoo Island is sure to become the destination venue for Sydney Summer.

More info if you wish to frequent:

About The Island Bar on Cockatoo Island

 Opening Hours:  December 11th – April 10th

                              11am to 9pm, Monday – Thursday

                              9 am – 9pm Friday – Sunday

Cost:                      Entry is free; large range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks and ‘aperitivo- style’ food

Transport               Regular public ferry service 7 days a week gets you to Cockatoo Island from Circular Quay in 12 minutes; ferry services also from Woolwich/Greenwich, Balmain/Birchgrove

Water taxis are available

Marina for private boats to dock for two hours at Cockatoo Island

 For more information go to www.cockatooisland.gov.au or visit www.theislandbar.com.au