Going out in Coogee usually means choosing between two equally uninspiring venues: the mega beer barns of the Coogee Bay Hotel or the Beach Palace Hotel. But there is another option along the beachfront. And those looking for a more sophisticated place for a drink should shun the masses entering the pubs and head south to Oceans Bar.
Set below the Crown Plaza Hotel complex, Oceans Bar - whilst having an extremely unimaginative name - is the perfect tonic to the duopoly of the big two Coogee pubs. Its prime position means it has sensational views across the water to Wedding Cake Island. Even if you have to go to work the next day and the temperature is pushing down into single figures, drinking at Oceans Bar is kind of like taking a little summer holiday in your own city.
Inside, it's all gleaming surfaces and funky décor. The bar is one large, oddly-shaped room with a sizeable bar area running along the back wall. Seating options range from cool designer bar tables and stools to long dining room tables, as well as a collection of sofas and love seats ideal for more intimate get-togethers. The outdoor tables on the patio are the place to be on sunny afternoons.
Oceans Bar offers a number of beers on tap, the most popular on the night I visit is the Italian favourite Peroni. The wine list is extensive and is pretty good value for money, whether by glass or by bottle. The cocktail list is similarly well-thought out and includes all the standards. The service is friendly and is minus the attitude you sometimes come across in similar joints. A steady stream of patrons, mainly well-heeled twenty and thirty-somethings, come and go throughout the night on various missions.
On the food side, pizzas are the hit, and run the gamut from margheritas through to more exciting options. The rest of the menu includes bar staples – hamburgers, fish and chips, and steaks – all of which are priced fairly reasonably, but edge toward expensive. The kitchen does a steady trade regardless.
Whilst not the most happening place in town, Oceans Bar is a good spot for a catch-up with friends or a nightcap with your nearest and dearest. The location is fantastic and the ocean views add a little something special. Next time you're in Coogee, ignore the beer barns and head to Oceans Bar.