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Top 10 small bars
Your guide to the best 10 experiences Sydney small bars have to offer. [More]
Where to go after midnight
Late night small bars in Sydney
It's getting close to the witching hour and your favourite venue is about to call last drinks, what are your late night options for small bars?
New in 2013
A compact corner bar on Cleveland street with a relaxed, open interior and cocktails for grown-ups: 7/10
Bondi FM Cafe and Bar
143 Curlewis Street
This is a bar that polarises people. Some people love its true local feel: young, Bondi types, hanging around looking relaxed, cool. And that’s exactly why others will hate it. Bondi Café is not a bar for everyone and while it can have a great vibe, you’ll sometimes feel like you are not part of it. The crowd changes throughout the week and the year. As Christmas and New Year roll around, you probably won’t hear too many Australian accents, but come at a different time for a more local experience.
In the mid-section of the bar is the radio booth for BondiFM as it goes live to air. A feature that makes the bar truly unique. Further back is the open area that feels like you’ve turned up at someone’s backyard party. It has a relaxed atmosphere and contrasts with the high tables and stools of the front street-side area.
Interestingly, BondiFM rarely seems to feel packed out. Some small bars around Sydney are jammed up so much, they have slow moving lines out the front. Perhaps it is due to the lack of comfortable standing room. Without a seat or a place at the bar, you will feel in the way through the long and narrow layout. The drinks are moderately priced – not cheap, but not over the top. There is pretty much a standard collection of options for beer, spirits, wines and cocktails. If you’re feeling hungry, bar snacks and share plates are available, but like many of the bars in Bondi, you can turn up during the day for a more substantial meal when it's wearing its café hat (opens 8am)
In brief: Bondi FM Cafe and Bar
Best things: Summer buzz, experiencing the ‘Bondi Bubble’ in all its glory*
Don't miss: Seeing BondiFM going live to air
Ideal for: Small groups, catch-ups with friends
Date tip: The rear outdoor area if you can get a seat (closes early)
Gripe: Staff are a bit brash.
*Bondi can feel a bit insulated from the outside world. Geographically, the roads tend to be steep as they lead out of the beach, and really if you are living there, Bondi has bars, cafes, restaurants and, of course, the beach. There is not a lot of incentive for the locals to leave. This cultural isolation is often referred to as the ‘Bondi Bubble’.
Last updated: November 2013
You are here: Bondi FM Cafe and Bar, Bondi Beach review and address. This is not a bar for everyone and while it can have a great vibe, you’ll sometimes feel like you are not part of it.