Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Bar review #9: Papa Gedes Bar (Sydney)

In another win for the Sydney Bar scene, Papa Gedes Bar opened tonight, adding another fantastic, friendly small bar to Sydney's laneways, with a touch of voodoo. Inspired by it's namesake (the "Voodoo Spirit of Lust & Humour, Mascot of Good Times"), the bar pulls off the voodoo theme well, without going overboard or straying into the domain of kitsch.

Found at the end of a laneway/driveway at 346-348 Kent St (just past Since I Left You), the venue was previously a garage - which would explain the lengthy fit-out time, which the team chronicled in minute detail via their awesome Twitter feed (@PapaGedesbar) - we just hope they keep up the tweets now that they're up and running.

Steph and I checked it out during the soft launch last Saturday and were impressed. You don't usually expect soft launches to be perfect, and you can forgive the odd mistake, average drink, or niggle...but there was no need. The team had everything running like clockwork, the cocktail menu was fantastic, and (whilst not huge) covered a broad range of drinks - something for everyone. The team of 3 (Lara, Mick and Josh) were all on-hand taking orders, mixing drinks and making sure everyone was having a good time. Clearly a bar team who care.

Favourite drinks were the Remedy No.1 (Bourbon, Creme Brûlée, tea syrup and port) followed by the Psychopomp (Cognac, maple syrup, lemon and egg white). Despite being in soft launch mode when we visited, it was clear the owners (whose experience spans Red Lantern, ivy Pool Club, Grandmas and Wild Rover) have spent a lot of time on the details - from the glassware, wallpaper, decorations, lighting and (most impressively) the sound system, which pumped out an eclectic but awesome mix of tunes. Oh, and the church pews mixed in with comfy couches? Great touch.

The spirits selection is well thought out, with whiskies ranging from Macallan, Red Breast and Laprhoaig, to Bookers, Bakers and the ubiquitous JW Blue. The wine list seemed to have a French focus, although we did notice an Argentinian Malbec from Exclusive Vines, who we're big fans of. Feel like channelling a New Orleans vibe? Plenty of Absinthe for that.

Papa Gedes isn't a big bar (licenced for 60), but it seems like a bar with a lot of heart, and will no doubt win favour with Sydney's small bar crowd, without any spells needing to be cast. We'll certainly be back.

Papa Gedes Bar can be found at 346-348 Kent St Sydney, and opens from Monday-Saturday, 5pm to midnight.

 - Martin.

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