Come me hearties, all you land lubbers, pretty fair maids and would be pirates. Manly now has a new bar to lure you into it's nets. The Hold is aptly named as it is like entering the holds of a pirate ship and no doubt it will imprison you with its charm and good times to be had.
This cool new bar located at Central Ave, Manly opened just over two months ago. Please note that the entrance is actually off the end of Sydney road where it reaches the Manly Corso. A little tricky to find if you don't know this as at first the main address brings you to a block of units on Central Ave so disregard that and walk around to the Sydney road side where all the cafe's and bars are and you will see the entrance.
An instant feeling of familiarity and a warm ambience is felt when you enter it's softly candle lit interior. Hanging nautical rope knots and bare light bulbs, bowed timber walls and smooth timber flooring have been cleverly designed to resemble the shape of a ships Hold. The walls are decorated in an assortment of anchors, sailors ropes and vintage art work. Part of the ceiling is draped in thick hessian adding to its 18th century galley pirate theme.
Your initial thought from the outside is it's a small bar only but it extends the full length of the building with more seating at the rear where an antique piano sits tempting you to play. I love seeing so much wood used in bars now days unlike some bars of the past that go for factory chic using industrial type elements with lots of iron and polished metal.
It truly has a boatie feel. I often go sailing on my father's old 56ft Ketch and the smell of teak and it's history hits me as soon as I enter the galley. The interior of the Ketch is lined in ornately carved teak paneling. I just love it and prefer it to the lighter modern carbon made yachts any day. It just reaks of history.
Sailing Oceania (Ketch) in Whitsundays, the interior of The Hold bar makes me think of sailing
If you have ever been sailing in an old yacht then you will get that feeling once you enter this bar. I almost thought a fitting addition to the design would be a glass paneled floor aquarium with some sunken treasure chests and fish but then again that would of been astronomical in price and maybe made it a bit cheap and tacky . But I still couldn't help but think even a small one set in a wall but then I suppose that might of made it look like a like a yum cha seafood restaurant, pick your catch for lunch! Or possibly an Octopus lurking through a murky tank might of sufficed but it may have offended some sea lovers or activists. But without these elements I still think it's a hit with the simple decor they have chosen.
The bar is the main feature and full stocked with an assortment of well known Spirits, Tequila, Craft beers and of course delectable Cocktails. Here they have embraced a more casual approach by offering pre-batched and bottled Cocktails which is a fantastic solution to the busy madness of Manly small bars or any small bar. What a great concept, no more waiting for ages for a few Cocktails to be made but in saying that I still do enjoy watching a talented bar person concoct drinks, but not at the risk of waiting until my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth!
They also provide live music sometimes on Wednesdays early evening and Sunday evenings. You will need to keep up to date with their facebook page to find out what day and time and also what drink specials are on.
Digby Robinson knocking out some Blues - image courtesy of The Hold FB
I think you will find this new bar will become a firm favourite of local northern beaches residents and visitors to the area. It's worth just checking it out to see what a great job they have done with their design and no doubt you won't be able to resist pulling up a stool and downing a few.
Love this place, a hidden treasure with awesome vibe! Had been crushing on it since it opened up in Manly so decided to have our work Christmas party there last night and it was amazing! Keith and his staff were nothing short of awesome which made for a great successful party. Burgers and cocktails were delicious. Highly recommended, they will not disappoint!