Mind. Blown: bar crawling in Newcastle

Something amazing happened to nightlife in Newcastle when I wasn’t looking – it got REALLY cool.

No more dancing to Melissa’s “Do to me what your eyes say you wanna do …” at the Crazy Horse or peeling your shoes off the sticky, beer-soaked carpet at Fannys …

I have no idea why you’d bother battling for a table and paying $35 cab fares on the mean streets of Sydney, it baffles me – Newie’s bar scene rocks.

My dear friends Lindy and John took me out on the town last Thursday and I was totally blitzed.


We kicked off with a lazy drink in the afternoon sun at Five Sawyers on Darby Street, Cooks Hill.

The menu at Five Sawyers looks amazing – think soft shell tacos with slow-cooked lamb, confit garlic, avocado & salsa – but it was a little early in the day for snack, so I stuck to my first vodka lime and soda of the crawl. I really should have tried one of the cocktails – such as the Pasha Bulker (“We take Peach Schnapps and throw it around with some Vodka, squeeze in a few fresh limes and splash it down with some cranberry juice, shake it hard and beach it on Nobbys… oops we mean in a tall glass”), it sounded fab.


Then we wandered down to Hunter Street and rocked up to a nondescript office block that looked a bit abandoned. There was a little note on the door telling patrons to text a special password and voila, we entered a marvellous place called Coal & Cedar.

Coal & Cedar is a prohibition-era-style speakeasy that stocks 65 different sorts of whiskey, but they served me up a lovely vodka, lime and soda, as well as delish jalapenos stuffed with gorgonzola and an anti-pasto plate.


Next stop was the pub of my youth, formerly known as The Lucky Country (that’s me and Lindy above). Every Saturday night, I’d guzzle Strongbows in a grotty booth there before meandering down to The Gunfighter’s Rest for some under-aged Dingo Dangler drinking and frenzied dancing to New Order on the tiny fluorescent dancefloor.

The Lucky Country has gone waaaaaay upmarket since those days. Check it out …



The place was absolutely PUMPING.

I took this lovely pic of Lindy and John on one of the ritzy sofas …


Next stop … Red Baron’s Berlin Bar … “An intimate and calm 1920’s-themed bar, serving Eastern European tapas-style plates and superb cocktails.”


We scoffed potato cakes and salty cheese … and I had another vodka, lime and soda. John had a sip and pronounced it “A lovely summer drink”, Lindy was a little underwhelmed.

And we indulged in a few more selfies …


Then we headed to our final bar of the night, the ultra-glam Le Passe Temps. It’s in an old bank on Hunter Street and absolutely gorgeous, serving French cuisine in a 1920s setting and retaining many of the old bank fittings. Lindy ordered the creme brulee and I had a sneaky mouthful – it was tiny but delicious.


We sat on something resembling the grey couch, below (the place was waaaaay darker when we were there) …


And then we called my poor dad and got him to come into town and drive us home. Well, Mum offered … it was too good to refuse … even if his macular degeneration means he can hardly see a thing after dark …

Awesome night – I’d do it again in a heartbeat, any takers?

Song of the day: Mental As Anything “The nips are getting bigger” (I’m ashamed to say I thought this song was racist as a teen … perhaps if I’d listened to the lyrics …)

oh and, of course, Melissa …


7 thoughts on “Mind. Blown: bar crawling in Newcastle

  1. YES!! who knew we had these little places in newy??? says me that only goes out for an hour or so of karoke with the kids every month these days… lol

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