The newer small bars in Sydney have taken a welcomed step away from zany themes and are now starting to show a more sophisticated side, without the need for pretentiousness. One of the best examples of this shift is The Long Goodbye. Situated upstairs on Stanley St, and occupying the former site of Hazy Rose, this venue shows that it is possible to get everything right.
From the moment you enter, The Long Goodbye feels like a grown-up bar. They have bucked that Sydney annoyance of music blaring at levels where you have to spend the whole night shouting at each other and replaced it with a varied list that does what music in a small bar should do: add to the atmosphere without making you feel like it is trying to pointlessly drown out your conversation.
Don’t expect to be be crammed around harsh and small wooden tables either, as the furnishings are elegant while creating spaces where people can be comfortable, sit and – as mentioned above – actually be heard. The low light, seating and genuinely friendly service make everything feel easy. All of this creates a sense of romanticism but without being stuffy. You can sit back and enjoy the company or simply have fun.
When it comes to drinks, you will be presented with a different process to the usual pick something from the menu routine. Here is the unique twist: you simply state the type of drink you want by spirit, cocktail name or some other description of your choosing and they’ll make you a drink that matches. Gone are those messy pricing systems where cocktails vary in price by 50 cents or a dollar for no apparent reason and the accompanying floral descriptions. For your $16 you’ll get your individualised drink with two full shots, none of this skimping with 1.5 shots seen in many other bars. More expensive requests will see prices vary depending on your nomination. It’s an easy and enjoyable system that allows the true skills of the bar staff to come out, and it makes you wonder why it is not more popular.
All up, it is hard to find fault with The Long Goodbye. The only reason this bar did not score 10/10 was its midnight closing, which is not something they have much control over. Last drinks start around 11:30pm.
In brief: The Long GoodbyeBest thing: Cosy feel, music that is played at a decent level Don't miss: Ordering cocktails based on what you feel like having, rather than from a pre-determined menu Ideal for: Small groups, cocktails, catch-ups with friends, dates Date tip: This place was made for dates. If nothing happens after visiting here, it's never going to happen Rating: 9/10
Last updated: August 2017
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