It seems like the latest trend in bars is to look like you just don’t care. Some, such as Ching-a-lings, don’t even have a sign, while Melbourne’s Section 8 doesn’t even have a proper roof. And then you have Name This Bar, which doesn’t have a proper name.
The idea behind Name This Bar is that customers are meant to suggest names in either the visitors’ book, on the Name This Bar website and, judging from the graffiti, on the bar’s walls. In an attempt to actually conduct some journalism we valiantly ask the bartender how the name search is going and find out that apparently some patrons think the bar should remain as “Name This Bar” – a view that we agree with.
Names aside, the bar has an ad hoc feel to it. The concrete floor is bare, there are barrels doubling as tables and sofas that look like they came from a garage sale. According to the Kiwi friend who accompanies me, the bar is trying too hard to look like it’s not trying.
“It’s just an excuse to not pay much for furniture,” he grumbles, although he admits he likes the art and graffiti on the walls.
I like the service, which is not only friendly now but also when I came in a week ago for a quick beer – plus I’m also impressed that they have a sidecar on their cocktail menu.
Made with Remy Martin cognac, Cointreau and lemon juice, the sidecar is served in a sugar-rimmed martini glass and although the Kiwi casts aspersions on my masculinity as I sip it, this is (as I sternly remind the kiwi) a masculine drink that even Hemingway was partial to. Furthermore, this rendition is well made – quite frankly, I wasn’t expecting to get a good cocktail here at all.
Ambient dance music is playing quietly enough for conversation and on Sundays a jazz outfit called The Experiment Street Quartet play a blend of jazz, funk and groove music from 7pm to 10pm.
Overall I’d say this is a pleasant place for a drink, even though it’s not exactly the type of bar you’d take a date or someone you’d want to impress. There’s also food available, most notably home-made dim sims and dumplings (although I’ve yet to try them).
Name this bar, 197 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst. See the Name this Bar website
Now it’s your turn – how do you rate Name This Bar?