Shady Pines Saloon

Shady Pines Saloon

The party never stops at Shady Pines. Open the unmarked door off a dark lane in Darlinghurst. Open the second door (sound proofing proved necessary once it became clear just how popular this bar was going to remain) and descend into a sunken saloon where at any moment you could find yourself in the middle of a wobbly sing-a-long to American Pie cranked right up – and that’s on a Wednesday.
This is the place where Sydney got its taste for booze and fresh apple juice. You somehow never feel like you’re really hitting the sauce if your drink is this fresh and foamy. Surely it’s repairing whatever damage you might be doing as you go along?

Other thing to love about this place, and the list is extensive, is that if you squeeze up to the jam packed bar and order a beer and a shot they won’t ask any questions, just line up a nip of George Dickel Old No. 8 Tennessee whiskey and a tinnie of Coopers lager and send you on your way to join the impromptu dance circle that’s formed in front of the door to the bathrooms.

Mostly this is a quick fire bar, but being the original Swillhouse venue, you might recognise staff from the Pine’s whisky-soaked little brother, the Baxter Inn. This means you can exchange your hard earned for a five star cocktail. Seems fair.

They haven’t changed much over the last five years – they didn’t need to. This was a thoroughly realised bar from day dot and the taxidermy, mounted fish heads and novelty beer trays (they did it first) are all exactly where you left them last time you visited – your wallet and dignity, on the other hand, could be anywhere.

There is never a night we don’t want to be drinking at Shady Pines. They know the joy of a shit tinnie and the importance of a well-made cocktail. And they both live in harmony inside this American-style saloon with the vintage rock up loud and more whisky where that came from.

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