Nearly every city has a list of ‘best kept secrets’ and Sydney is no exception. Undoubtedly one of the best kept secrets in Sydney is a brilliant little bolt-hole of a bar tucked underneath a fabulous restaurant in Darlinghurst. The restaurant is The Commons and the well-kept secret bar below The Commons is called Downtown at The Commons.
This underground bar with its beautiful old sandstone walls, low ceilings and dim lighting is rich with charm, atmosphere, warmth and class! It was probably a cellar or servants quarters when the house was originally built in the 1800’s, but the only servants you’ll find there these days are the Italian boys running Downtown at The Commons. And they are ‘servants’ in the sense that they are at your service to provide you with all the ingredients necessary for a great night in their magnificent little bar. Food: tick. Cocktails: tick. Quality service: tick. Tunes: tick. Music is a pretty important component of the Downtown experience – blues generally being the genre of choice. You’d be justified in questioning how they manage to fit a band in such a cosy room, but they do and it adds to the intimacy of this venue having musos literally within an arm’s reach of you and your friends. Somehow though the music does not intrude on your conversation, but rather provides a fabulous soundtrack to your night out. The cocktail list reads like a book, it’s extensive, to say the least and there’s massive selection of spirits available here too.
Downtown really is one of Sydney’s best kept secrets and regulars, rightly so, would probably prefer it remain that way. But this bar is way too charming to be availed only to the chosen few. It is unquestionably one of Sydney’s best small bars.
- By Paul
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