While news of Sydney’s music venues can often read like the obituaries pages, today’s announcement comes with a bit more vigour. After closings its doors for the last time early last year, the venue once known as The Basement will re-open, thanks to the duo that keeps applying a defibrillator to Sydney’s nightlife, shocking it back into life.
Jake Smyth and Kenny Graham, of Mary’s, The Lansdowne and The Unicorn, are determined to bring live music back to what was once the home for jazz in Sydney. Named Mary’s Underground, the bar will be home to rock ‘n’ roll, blues, whacked-jazz, bluegrass, hip hop and electro. Rather than replicate the successful model that The Lansdowne has become known for, raucous, late night music with a focus on indie and punk, the new owners will pay homage to the layers of history that are held in these walls and continue the venue’s association with all things syncopated.
What the duo are bringing from their other venues is a focus on food. The burgers and chicken we know and love from Newtown will be there, while downstairs there will be a slightly classier establishment, but which retains the Mary’s spirit.
Graham suggests that the menu will take a tack towards plant-based diets, highlighting that “Mary’s will always continue to be inclusive of all choices, without losing their direction of delicious, fun, indulgent food and flavours.”
There will be a few alterations to the structure of the venue. The upstairs bar will be renovated and an intimate wine bar will be slotted into the back. Downstairs, however, the magic remains the same, with the immense bar preserved in all its glory.
Touching on the focus of Mary’s wine mates P&V Wine Merchants, the drinks list will lean into sustainable and natural wines, with a focus on local labels.
Further details remain unknown, but we are itching to be able to hear the tinkling of piano keys or the brassy horn of a trumpet down in Circular Quay.