My love affair with Bondi is growing, slowly but surely. After living in the inner west for 15 years I’m becoming increasingly lured by the thought of going for a surf whenever I feel like it and the rise of beachside drinking dens such as Bondi Social, Drift and the Shop and Wine Bar only makes the temptation worse.
In contrast to the Beach Road Hotel just a few minutes away, the Shop and Wine Bar is little more than a hole in the wall café that turns into a busy wine bar when the sun goes down. It would be easy to call this an European- or Melbourne-style bar but its laid back casual atmosphere and the line-up of stools on the footpath makes this seem very Bondi – albeit the newer, funkier Bondi that seems to be emerging as of late.
Inside there’s velvet red wallpaper that WingWoman describes as eminently touchable – she also uses the word luscious, but I suspect the multiple drinks we had earlier in the night is causing both of us to be more eloquent than usual – as well as a wooden bench that we’re sitting on and a mirror at the back with the day’s wine specials scrawled onto it.
There’s a good selection of wines from around Australia and New Zealand and I’d like to pontificate on exactly what pedigree wine we choose to drink but, quite frankly, at this time of the night the only thing we care about is that it’s made from grapes and is alcoholic. With these two key needs met (although my presence of mind is just sober enough to realise the wine isn’t half bad for the price) we discuss more important matters, namely the relevance of Will Ferrell in today’s modern cinema (we conclude that while his stocks may waver, there’s no doubt Bewitched is a sorely underestimated piece of intellectual cinematography). And on that note of intellectual clarity we realise we’ve had enough alcohol for one night (perhaps we should have had some of the olives or cheese that’s available) and stumble back into the sea breeze.
Shop and Wine Bar, 78 Curlewis Street, Bondi. Open Wednesday to Saturday until 10pm and Sunday until 7pm. Phone 9365 2600.
Now it’s your turn – how do you rate the Shop and Wine Bar?