The highly anticipated Australian debut of the pioneering New York speakeasy Employees Only will open in the CBD at 6pm on the Saturday, November 24. In a heritage-listed basement on Barrack Street, Employees Only Sydney will bring their flawlessly executed cocktails and refined food to a beautiful space.
Since its inception, Employees Only has had a philosophy that resonated with hospitality workers in New York and now around the world. Focusing on a creating a space for the industry to call their own as well as their guests, the Sydney spot will continue to serve food and drink until 3am most nights.
Garnering a reputation and loyal following for their pioneering drinks and industry classics, Co-founder Dushan Zarić and Principal Bartender Robert Krueger have developed a high-concept drinks list, combining signature Employees Only mixes and bespoke cocktails created by local the Sydney team. Think a classic Manhattan cocktail alongside new tipples such as The Down Payment; a mix of Barsol pisco shaken with avocado, fresh lime, Strega, Suze and aquafaba, a combination so Sydney it almost hurts.
Krueger says, “The cocktails are a great mixture of diligence and fun. We want it to be the kind of place that experts in the field want to hang out at and invite their friends to join them.”
The kitchen is run by “the two French chefs”, Aurelien Girault and Leo Garnier, who have worked closely together on the New York bistro style menu, which is ideal for the bar’s casual accessibility and relaxed surroundings of the dining space. Think things for grazing, such as oysters or some charcuterie before something heartier like a chargrilled ribeye, a whole fish to share or a risotto nero.
Accompanying Employees Only down-under is their staff meal and soup tradition. The Employees Only staff meal is made by the chefs each day as a family meal for the staff and will be extended to guests to enjoy as a special on the menu at a very reasonable price. At the end of the night, when the bar closes guests will be served a bowl of warm chicken soup, the kind your mum makes, as a sign to get back home safe.
This new chapter of the famous NY bar will celebrate a lot of what made it a regular on the world’s best bar lists, but with its own a distinctive Sydney edge. The subterranean location will be adorned with hand painted wall murals and an antique chandelier making for heritage, dark, seductively sumptuous décor. Personifying the speakeasy style that has been so adored, Employees Only Sydney is definitely one to check out.
Employees Only Sydney
9a Barrack Street, Sydney
Monday-Saturday – 5pm-3am
Late night dinner – 11pm-2.30am
Sunday – 5pm-12am