The newest gem in Redfern’s small bar crown
The end of Redfern Street is quickly becoming the hottest small bar strip in town, with players like Dry Land and The Dock and the reportedly soon to be open Hustle & Flow making this once quiet street a must-see for cocktail and bar food aficionados alike. But venture just a little further, and you’ll find the newly opened Arcadia Liquors on the top end of Cope Street, and what a find it is.
One of the first points of difference is the space, while small bars often pride themselves on being ‘cosy’ Arcadia is more expansive, with bare, high walls helping to make the space feel larger than it actually is. The beer garden through the back, while small, helps to further this spacious feeling, with looming walls of greenery helping you to forget your inner city location.
While interior decorating is nice, it’s the booze that people are here for. Arcadia Liquors has a finely selected, and reasonably priced wine list; mostly Australian with a few Spanish and South American inclusions. The beer menu also has international options, but this time with a German skew. The food menu consists of toasted sandwiches, whose gourmet fillings include Gruyere and caramelized onion or triple smoked ham and Aussie cheddar. If you’re after something a bit lighter, bowls of spiced nuts are on the house.
It’s hard to find a pretentious face amongst the Redfern small bar staff, and Arcadia is no different. The bartenders happily chatting over making drinks and changing records, which can go from Whitney Houston to Jack White to Too $hort in a matter of minutes. It’s hard not to feel at home here.
It would have been easy for Arcadia to slot itself into the small bar mould that has become the norm for Sydney. And while they have the mandatory spinning vinyl, kitsch decorations and bearded bartenders, Arcadia Liquors has a charm and hospitality that is all it’s own, and guaranteed to win you over.