Politics and alcohol often go hand in hand, which might explain why so many new bars have political names. You have Hinky Dinks, coined after a corrupt polly from Chicago; The Roosevelt and, in Cremorne, The Mayor.
Located where the post office used to be, The Mayor is a stylish bar and restaurant where the walls are covered with black and white photos of mayors and the occasional quote from them – I particularly like “A conservative is a liberal who was mugged the night before” by Frank Rizzo, an outspoken former mayor of Philadelphia.
There’s a large dark wooden middle bar in the centre with comfy leather stools all around (which alone makes me like the place – to me, that’s the ideal bar setup), along with leather banquettes, tables, chesterfield sofas and a large window with venetian blinds facing Military Road.
It’s a weeknight and the place is bustling to the point where I only just squeeze myself in at the bar. I’m not on the North Shore often so I decide a stiff drink is order and opt for the Hurricane ($17), which the menu says is a secret house-made tropical rum punch with fresh fruit and burnt orange syrup. Pale yellow with an orange wheel perched on top of the glass, this is a well-made punch that’s ridiculously easy to drink – if you don’t like the taste of liquor then this is for you. As if to synchronise with my drink, Bob Dylan’s Hurricane starts playing on the sound system. I wonder what would have played if I had ordered the Sneaky Sneaky instead (a shot of apple brandy and apple cider – $18). There’s also a good wine list, with vinos from Mudgee to Argentina and beers that include Bluetongue Lager, Peroni and Bruers Bright.
The restaurant serves meals such as the club sandwich ($19), crispy southern wings with coleslaw, blue cheese and sweet sour dips ($17) and chicken breast stuffed with ricotta, preserved lemon with brik-wrapped Israeli cous cous and jus ($26) – but since the Hurricane gave me my daily serve of fruit and I’m squeezed between two different groups at the bar, I decide to try the food on my next visit.
(I was going to end with a lame joke about not having the stomach for politics but even my cat shot it down … )
The Mayor, 400 Military Road, Cremorne. See The Mayor website. Open for lunch and dinner 6 days a week.
Now it’s your turn – how do you rate The Mayor Bar and Dining?