I didn’t write down any notes on Darlie Laundromatic. Not on the decor, not on the music, not on the food. I realise this is a mystifyingly bad intro for a review but, out of the hundreds of reviews I’ve written, this is a first. You see, I always jot down notes in every bar I go to. It’s kind of a semi-autistic, pedantic thing I do. I’d probably do it even if I didn’t have Bar Zine. In fact, I think I only run this site to give my eccentricities some credibility.
But I don’t have notes on Darlie, a former laundromat which still looks like a laundromat, even though I’ve been here twice – and I think that says a lot about this bar. After all, it’s so laidback and casual, from the faux laundry hanging up on lines to the taps on the wall that double as clothes hangers, that even I felt self conscious making notes. Instead, I just sidled up to the bar and ordered alcoholic cordial.
Actually, I only ordered cordial on my first visit but stuck to beer on my second. The cordial (mixed with vodka) is good for those with a sweet tooth and who don’t like the taste of alcohol but it’s not for me. I’ve tried a few of their flavours, including the raspberry and ginger cordial as well as the spiced orange, but to be honest they all pretty much tasted the same to me.
What makes this bar interesting isn’t so much the cordial, though, but the friendly and social vibe – this isn’t a place for loners. The space almost demands you talk to someone, from the communal table up front to the fact there’s no place to hide, and when I come with a friend on my second visit we end up staying for several drinks while talking to complete strangers. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t thinking of my cat the whole time, but my friend said it was an enriching experience that’s unusual for Sydney. In fact, while many people compare Sydney’s laneway bars with Melbourne’s it’s actually Darlie that reminds me most of a Melbourne bar due to its laidback atmosphere.
But that’s enough from me. If you’ve been to Darlie (regardless of whether you took notes or not) then leave a comment below:
Darlie Laundromatic, 304 Palmer Street, Darlinghurst. Phone 8095 0129 or see the Darlie Laundromatic website Open 4pm – 11pm Tuesday to Thursday, Friday through Sunday brunch – 11pm.
Now it’s your turn – how do you rate Darlie Laundromatic?
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