‘The Wild Rover’ – well, this was one hell of a long wait for one of Grandmas’ kids. It felt like a year in the making but The Wild Rover bar is most definitely open and it really is a cool Sydney bar. Grandmas Bar gave the cool Sydney bar scene a kick on how to harness what it takes to create not just a formula bar but to give it that cool factor. The team behind Grandmas is looking for The Wild Rover to do the same, and we will put some money on that!
Day 1 and sydneycool went along to give this new Irish offshoot a test run. The Wild Rover is located in the part of old industrial Sydney where wholesale businesses did their trade. The front of the building has been left as is – out front there’s the sign that reflects its past – Gestetner’s Surry Hills Shirt Warehouse. And you never know what lies behind this very ordinary shop front until you open the heavy wooden door.
But once inside the warm feel of a local Irish pub with its comfy chairs, tables and large banquettes beckon you to sit back and relax. Or be one of the lads or gals and sit at the bar and discuss the day’s woes. And upstairs has a lighter and brighter look with large windows letting natural light flood – making this a perfect spot to spend a Sunday afternoon on a rainy winters day.
With a nod to heritage Sydney – the old State Rail train indicator boards displaying the list of beers and whiskies, nice!
We like the way the guys at The Wild Rover have set out what they believe when it comes to drinks. They tell us their credo is “focussing on the flavour of what your’e enjoying, not simply the ingredients” There’s a whole variety of draught and bottled beers – great to see some NSW brewed beers. We tried the 4 Pines Stout, brewed locally in Manly, a dry Irish style stout – or like a Guinness “light” – OUCH! that will hurt if you are Irish.
The Wild Rover re-discovers some long lost classic cocktails as well as introducing some of their own. A list of cellar reserve wines including French and local champagnes (sic). And of course, there’s whisky – some rare and hard to source whiskies and Irish whiskies like Connemara from the west coast of Ireland.
The bar food keeps the wolf from the door – like spicy lamb sausage rolls and freshly shucked oysters from Coffin Bay, and the word on the ground is in the near future “live music on Sundays” – here’s hoping.
The Wild Rover is the newest cool Sydney bar and we really like the place, the service and the drinks. But above all it feels real and not like all the glossy theme park bars that have been popping up all over this fair land.