Subscribe      List an Event or Business      Invite a Writer      Write for WN      Writers      Other Locations      HubGarden      Recipes
1 million Australian readers every month      list your event

The Cove Pop-up Bar at the Opera House

Home > Sydney > Bars | Cocktail Bars | Food and Wine | Nightlife | Outdoor
by Adrian Kmita (subscribe)
Writer, Photographer, Producer & Osteopath. A Sydneysider traveling the world solving life's puzzles. twitter.com/AdrianKmita
Published January 9th 2013
Great Gatsby inspired pop-up bar at Opera House
The Cove at the Sydney Opera House
The Cove at the Sydney Opera House

The Great Gatsby by the brilliant American author F. Scott Fitzgerald is a novel taking place in the "Roaring Twenties" post World War I during a time of celebration, excess and carefree madness, exploring a nations hunger to live life to the fullest. It represented a highly prosperous time conveniently set in Long Island, New York. It signified the beginning of an era full of glamour and overindulgence where movie stars and sports heroes became the national icons. What better theme could be incorporated into Sydney's latest pop-up champagne and cocktail bar The Cove, located at the podium level of the Sydney Opera House this summer.

View of El Loco from The Cove at the Sydney Opera House
View of El Loco from The Cove at the Sydney Opera House

In celebration of this year's Sydney Festival, the Opera House has gone to extraordinary lengths to create the carnival like atmosphere that is expected in Sydney during the month of January. Notoriously one of the most under utilised spaces in town, the iconic venue has joined forces with Justin Hemmes and the Merivale group to assemble Sydney's supreme party this summer. Merivale has taken advantage of the best views in Sydney in addition to taking its themes to a whole new level. The western concourse of the Opera House has already been transformed into a Mexican fiesta in the form of El Loco at the House, a pop-up restaurant and bar version of the incredibly successful El Loco Mexican cantina restaurant located at Surry Hills.

The Illusionist cocktail & Mot from The Cove at the Sydney Opera House
The Illusionist cocktail & Mot from The Cove at the Sydney Opera House

The upper western concourse or podium level of the Opera House has been converted into a Great Gatsby inspired champagne and cocktail bar. As previously mentioned, this means excess, overindulgence and luxury crossed with a stylish party atmosphere. The New York times described The Great Gatsby as "an ironic tale of life on Long Island at a time when gin was the national drink and sex was the national obsession". Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be too much gin on offer, but there is plenty of champagne in the form of Mot. Bottles of Mot & Chandon are the potion of choice at The Cove, as well as a selection of ultra cool yet sophisticated cocktails.

The Cove at the Sydney Opera House
The Cove at the Sydney Opera House

Cocktails on the menu include the Harry's Bar Bellini featuring Chandon NV poured over white peach puree. Others worth mentioning consist of The Illusionist and Old Fashioned featuring Belvedere Vodka and Jim Beam respectively. The closest concoction to resemble a martini is the aptly named The Symphony. It features Belvedere Vodka, Apricot Brandy, Martini Bianco and Rosso Vermouth. All cocktails will set you back $15 with the exception of Harry's Bar Bellini which is only $14.

Great Gatsby inspired design for The Cove at the Sydney Opera House
Great Gatsby inspired design for The Cove at the Sydney Opera House

A nice selection of wines is also on offer at The Cove ranging from Jasper Sauvignon Blanc from the Marlborough region all the way to Felix Shiraz from the Barossa Valley. No doubt this is all courtesy of Frank Moreau, head sommelier at numerous Merivale restaurants and bars around town. Frank Moreau was recently winner of the 2012 best Sommelier of Asia and Oceania. Wines by the glass start at $7, however a glass of Mot will set you back $20.

Great Gatsby inspired design for The Cove at the Sydney Opera House
Great Gatsby inspired design for The Cove at the Sydney Opera House

Food is available for purchase in the form of finger sandwiches and various cheeses, although guests may be better suited to head down stairs to El Loco at the House considering all the atmosphere and food on offer. Where The Cove's strength does lie however is in it's theme and design. Merivale has done a remarkable job. It really does feel like the excessive 1920s. There are day beds, extremely comfortable white couches, along with chandeliers and bronze statues. The menus even have pictures of the Sydney Harbour Bridge under construction to add to the authenticity. Moreover, the venue really does have the best views of Sydney Harbour when compared to any other venue in the city. This is assisted by The Cove being an outdoor venue. There are moments in the process of ordering drinks at the bar when you lose yourself and forget where you really are. It is extremely well done.

View from The Cove at the Sydney Opera House
View from The Cove at the Sydney Opera House

The Cove also conveniently overlooks El Loco at the House, a system that Merivale love to incorporate and utilise in many of its bars, clubs and restaurants. You have the best of both worlds at The Cove. You can experience luxury and the best views in town as well as sample the atmosphere of the Mexican fiesta below. The Cove is also in close proximity to the El Loco music stage, as well as a few steps away from the famous Opera House sails leading straight into the concert hall. Many of the Opera House spaces will be in use at this time for Summer at the House productions and shows. As a promotion tickets to the Summer at the House shows start at $25. As a result The Cove is being marketed as a pre-theatre and post-drinks venue, making it ideal to discuss all the experiences of the night providing an opportunity for your inner critic to flourish.

The Cove at the Sydney Opera House
The Cove at the Sydney Opera House

With pop-up bars and restaurants becoming all the rage in recent times, not only in Sydney but across the world, it was inevitable for the Sydney Opera House to take advantage of probably the greatest piece of real estate in the country. Taking lead from pop-up restaurants and bars such as The Bucket List at Bondi Beach, which have become so successful that they are now a permanent fixture bordering on a local institution. It's no wonder that Sydney has finally used the pop-up formula at the Opera House. In joining forces with Justin Hemmes and the Merivale group, the Sydney Opera House boardwalk has become the place to be this summer during the Sydney Festival. The Cove is open 5pm until late daily, however you can try your luck earlier from 12pm since there are various sources suggesting trading begins at midday.
Help us improve  Click here if you liked this article  134
Share: email  facebook  twitter
Why? A pop-up bar inspired by The Great Gatsby with the best views of Sydney Harbour
When: This summer from January 4th, 5pm until late.
Where: Sydney Opera House
Cost: Wines and Champagne start at $7, Cocktails $15 or less.
Your Comment
More Sydney articles
Articles from other cities
Featured
Foodi Photoh Classie
Top Events
Popular Articles
Categories
Lists
Questions