[ADVERT]Redfern and cool bars. That was not a sentence you were likely to hear a few years back, but that's all changed. Thanks to Dry Land Bar, The Dock, and Freda's (which is technically in Chippendale), Redfern's bar scene is now seriously happening. And now it's time to add Arcadia Liquors to the list.
Set on a rather barren stretch of Cope Street, Arcadia Liquors has been quietly doing its thing for a few months now. And it's thing is a lovely, quirkily-furnished saloon with a great drinks list, friendly staff, and an extremely agreeable courtyard.
The main room is all exposed brick walls, old-fashioned landscape pictures on the wall, a mishmash of furniture, and a terrific big bar. There are tables and chairs scattered close to the bar, while a few booth style seats along the back wall become hot property when the joint fills up. Out the back the courtyard's a beaut and, with it's recent redesign (it's got a new roof), has been transformed into a funky grotto, perfect for settling in and shooting the breeze.
At the bar, the beer taps dispense the German Spatan beer and another tap pours Newtown brewery Young Henry's delicious amber fluid. There's also a range of German brews by the bottle and a wine list of mainly Australian drops, with a few Spanish and Argentinean drops thrown in for good measure. Cocktails tread the classics path: try a Manhattan, Whisky Sour, Old Fashioned or a very drinkable Tom Collins.
For eats, there's toasted cheese and onion or ham and cheese sandwiches. If your stomach is really objecting, you can order Chinese from across the road and they'll deliver it to you in the bar. The staff won't object; instead, they'll fetch some plates and cutlery for you.
It all adds up to a rollicking good time. Arcadia Liquors is a friendly neighbourhood tavern big on charm and low on pretension. It's yet another reason to forego Surry Hills and head south of Cleveland Street.