Palmer & Co continues the trend for themed small bars in Sydney, albeit you wouldn’t really call the bar small. It occupies the former VIP room at Tank Nightclub and you can enter from the back of Tank Stream Bar, or for the cool kids an entry via Abercrombie Lane is possible. The space is themed as a prohibition bar with the purported hidden entrance by way of a taxidermist festooned with mounted animals in cages who make guest appearances throughout this underground lair of alluring delights.
Bare brick walls, stripped of white paint and plastered with feux-advertisements of years gone by, are decorated with mugshots of celebrities, cast iron stylings and witty pictorial curiosities. Waiters and waitresses are dressed from the 1920s and 30s as are the jazz band who play brilliant covers transporting attendees into the nostalgic era of the alcohol ban in New Orleans and New York City with all the convenience of, well, alcohol.
The cocktail menu, rather precociously described as “The Bible” by one of the waitresses, is extensive and unique covering the usual favourites as well as many originals with two new cocktails offered every day. The champagne and wine selection is well thought out and all your favourite beers are available by the bottle along with the very drinkable Sierra Nevada pale ale, which is delicious but pricey at almost $10 a bottle. The cocktails represent the best value averaging out at about $16.
It’s a sit down affair at Palmer & Co where getting a tab for the table is the order of the day though you do have the option of ordering from the bar. The large space is divided into smaller segments which adds further intimacy amongst the amber glow and loud murmur of conversation. The charcuterie board looked amazing and has been added to my “to do” list. It’s a perfect venue for the start or end of a date or with a small group of people for a cocktail night.
Palmer & Co is not really your after work establishment, at least not in the area where it is located, but it will no doubt encourage further small bars to set up nearby which are seriously lacking amongst the male suit dominated drinking holes in the vicinity. Combined with the Bridge Street Cafe Sopra, you now have a viable night out at this end of town without succumbing to the heinousness of “Stabbies" and the like. This one’s a keeper.