A safe house worth knowing about
13b is Burton Street’s latest contribution to Sydney’s small bar revolution. Although licensing has forced the venue to change its name, this petit cocktail bar and café is still affectionately known by its regulars as The Safe House. It’s a fitting name – this watering hole offers sanctity from the bustle of Oxford Street with its Mediterranean fare and Prohibition style classic cocktails.
The owners, Mark Stephens and Eddie Venneri, have a wealth of experience in the industry having worked at Sydney hotspots Hemmesphere, Lotus, Icebergs and Deus ex Machina. Although the duo now have their own joint you can tell they still have a love for the front of house with one of the pair being there to greet you day & night.
Perhaps the main benefit of this hands-on approach is that you’re sure to receive cracking coffee (they serve Gravity Espresso from Richmond, Melbourne) and superb cocktails. On our visit we went for the Blood and Sand. This Prohibition classic is named after an American silent era movie staring Rudolph Valentino and is a hot blooded mix of Scotch whisky, cherry brandy, sweet vermouth and freshly squeezed orange juice.
After seeing names like The Don Corleone and the The Benny Blanco also appear on the cocktail list we thought that it was only fitting that we went for the Pork and Veal Meatballs with parmesan toast and a rich tomato ragu. It’s a more-ish dish – good enough for a bribe, that is, if you fear being whacked by an Italian mobster.
13b is a welcome addition to Burton Street – now clearly, Sydney’s bustling small bar precinct.
Where: 13b Burton Street, Darlinghurst
When: Tuesday – Saturday 7am till midnight, Sunday 8am till 10pm
Get me in: 02 9356 8718