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Bar Century

Home > Sydney > Bars | Nightlife
by Nicholas Gordon (subscribe)
Freelance writer based in Sydney.
Published July 17th 2011
Update March 4th 2016
Bar Century has now ceased operation.

Remember when you used to get decent change from five bucks for a beer? Or when a good night out on the town didn't cost a third of a week's wages? In a town where drink prices seem to rise like rent, a cheap night out is next to impossible. But at Bar Century you can relive the good old days without worrying where the next ATM is.

At Bar Century, drinks are three bucks. Domestic beer, house wine and basic spirits - all three bucks. I'm not talking about during happy hour. I'm not talking you've got to be female and go on a Monday night when everybody is at home watching Masterchef. It's three bucks regardless of when you go.

Situated above Hungry Jacks, overlooking George Street, Bar Century is accessed from Liverpool Street via a steep, circular staircase. World Square Hostel, located in the same building, provides a steady client base and as a result, the place is almost never quiet.

The pub consists of a large room punctuated by a wrap-around bar. Pokies sit off to the side and would be worth complaining about if they weren't largely responsible for subsidising the cheap drinks. The bartenders are friendly and the atmosphere is cheerful, noisy and youthful. This is not the place for a first date, business meeting, or cosy chat. The jukebox blares non-stop and a steady buzz of humanity passes through the doors.

Bar Century is part of the Oscars Hotel Group, and is like the rebellious teenager in relation to the group's other staid venues. Back in the day, Bar Century was known as the Century Tavern and was one of the most popular joints in town. Following an unsuccessful incarnation in the mid-2000s as a classed up bar replete with sterile furniture, drinks at normal prices and almost no customers, Bar Century returned to its roots and is all the better for it.

While it won't appeal to everyone, Bar Century is a great choice for getting the night started. It's popular with people heading to the Metro who know live music means absurdly steep drink tariffs. It's also a viable starting point for groups who plan to fan out towards the Cross or Oxford Street. And if thrift is your middle name, you can just stay, sip a drink, feed the jukebox and watch the night unfold.

Also, just because it's cheap, don't over do it. It will still be there tomorrow. And falling down those stairs will really, really hurt.
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Why? For drinks at 1973 prices
When: Daily til late
Where: 1/640 George Street, Sydney NSW 2000
Cost: Domestic beer, house wine, basic spirits $3
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