Mojo Record Bar
A small bar that's different from the rest
In the midst of the Sydney’s small-bar revolution, we’re starting to see what one might call redundancy. Everyone, it seems, wants to be a Prohibition speakeasy. Which we’ve loved for the first three, four, maybe ten bars, but is it too much to ask for diversity?
Which leads us to Mojo Records Bar, a bar that just wants to be, well, a bar.
Call it a classic bar, or an unpretentious one, albeit one which also happens to include an unbelievably awesome vinyl hawker. “It’s like a Triumph Bonneville,” co-owner and music guru Neville Sergent says of his bar. “It’s always going to look good.” You’ll find Mojo just past Hotel CBD, its glass door lined with 33 1/3 discs a tell-tale giveaway as to what lives down those basement stairs.
Descend the steps, pass the small lobby with its curated record display and the Techniques-spun sounds of the record store (which we’ll get to in a tic), and enter the rear door into what’s already a rockin’ bar scene. Here you’ll find a classic good-times bar, with a small but cracker of a craft beer list (helloooo Young Henrys growlers), solid wines and a music-nerd’s cocktail list. Exhibit A: the “Smells Like Gin Spirit”, a sweet-bitter-sour concoction of Hendricks, blueberry and Campari.
There are banquets for chillaxing, and barstool tables that beg sharing in such precious real estate on party nights. Tuck into bowls of pork scratching, and soak up the retro soundtrack spaning ’60s garage, blues, funk, soul and sweet-as ’70s rock, and given visual aids via album covers and band posters (a heyday Sonic Youth gig in Portland? Nice) that line the space.
And while that version of Springsteen’s “Hungry Heart” plays, you might notice those smells wafting from scattered cardboard boxes is making you ravenous as well. That would be the woodfired pizzas from Taglio down the road, easily ordered at the bar.
But for the ultimate Mojo experience, grab a brewski and backstep it to the record shop. Neville has been spruiking vinyl for 32 years, and is as manically obsessed about serious and obscure music as Jack Black ever was in High Fidelity. He’s got 9000 records in his collection thus far and has 2000 more coming. He’ll turn you on to everything from Canned Heat to his top three Rolling Stones albums. “I’m a little bit of the keeper of the knowledge,” he says in full music sage mode. Just don’t ask him for that Justin Bieber release on 45.
Where: Basement, 73 York St, Sydney CBD
Hours: Mon-Fri 4pm-midnight, Sat 6pm-midnight
Phone: (02) 9262 4999