Palmer & Co
Another month, another Merivale opening
Another month, another impressive Merivale opening. Seriously, couldn’t Justin Hemmes show that he’s at least a little bit fallible?
With a winning streak that spans Felix, Ms G’s, El Loco and The Fish Shop – not to mention ever-pumping party spots, The Ivy and Establishment – the Hemmes empire keeps on batting, this time scoring another hit with serious (and seriously buzzing) cocktail bar, Palmer & Co.
Yes, the queues are already lining up for this speakeasy-style subterranean space, featuring three bars and a NY diner-inspired food menu and charcuterie. It’s all hidden down narrow Abercrombie Lane, around the bend from Establishment in the rear part of the old Tank nightclub. Designers Sibella Court Kelvin Ho have taken this vaulted, 1850s brick lair and lent it an industrial-era feel, glamming it up with framed photos of Australian mobsters, copper lights, a bookcase-ensconced top hat collection, and a floor covered in vintage-style hexagon tiles. Nucky Thompson would feel right at home here.
Merivale bar honcho Mike Enright describes Palmer’s hooch as “polished, perfectly made drinks, but not too poncy”. That’s as good as any way to describe the 1920s and ’30s classic drinks and updated reworkings, served via replica Prohibition-era glassware and frozen-stemmed croupets. That includes daily special from barmen from each of two ‘kitchen’ bars specialising in housemade ingredients. Take, for example, the Bonnie Sour, a concoction of gin, lemon juice, mint, eggwhite and housemade rhubarb syrup. And yes, your barman may very well have an Italian, French, Berliner or Los Angelenos accent – many of them have been imported to provide some international flair.
Flapper-dressed waitresses bring over the food offerings, which bring a bit of Gotham to the plate. Think mac ‘n’ cheese, thickly sliced corned beef sandwiches with sour dill pickles, and even a bowl of matzoh ball soup. There are also charcuterie plates serving up an ever-changing roundup of salamis and other cold cuts from Vic’s Meats.
So dump your wanker banker friends at the usual soulless CBD watering holes in this part of town, and come to Palmer & Co for the foot-stomping blues soundtrack, the smart-sexy crowd, the late-night eats and skilled potables that’ll quench even the most demanding of cocktail cravings.
Where: Abercrombie Ln (enter via George St or Tank Stream Way), Sydney CBD
Hours: Mon-Thu 5pm-late, Fri 3pm-late, Sat 5pm-late
Phone: (02) 9240 3172