THE SCENE If you think the CBD is only for suits, the guys at Merivale want you to think again. The company has opened a brand new bar in the heart of the city with the feel of a pop-up and the energy of a low-slung Surry Hills dive bar, #WIP is shaking things up in a good way. You’ll find paste-up art by pop artist, Franck Gohier and wall space to create your art – that’s right – you can literally draw on the walls with the pencils and paints provided.
BEHIND THE BAR Fresh fruit cocktails are the order of the day and the bartenders will squeeze you a vitamin-rich refreshment (changing daily) so you can’t possibly feel guilty about drinking. The ‘Down the Stairs’, containing Zubrowka vodka, almond, fresh lemon and pressed apple ($18) hit the spot and arrives garnished with a cinnamon stick. There’s also a great selection of Australian wines, and if you buy a bottle, it’s served in a recycled Italian tinned tomato ‘wine cooler’.
THE GRUB ”Share or else!” insists the menu, so take note and round up a fewfriends. The Thai street-food offerings are mouth-wateringly good. Marinated mince prawns wrapped with egg noodle are tasty and only $3 each, while betel leaf wraps with smoked trout make a great drinking partner at $4.50 each.
BILL PLEASE Cocktails are on the expensive side, but worth it for the nutrient value. If you’re breadline, stick to cheap cans of beer.
VERDICT Interactive, hip, and nowhere near as pretentious as the ‘writing on the wall’ may make it sound.
50 King St, Sydney