I was lucky enough to be invited to celebrate the YCK Laneway Block Party last night, which is giving Sydney’s CBD night life a much-needed boost via a program of 75 cultural events across 15 venues.
With the help of Bombay Sapphire and PATRÓN Tequila, 10 of the small bars in York, Clarence and Kent Street (aka YCK) are banding together from April 7 – May 22 to drive people back to the CBD with bespoke events and activities.
I went to the event with my former magazine mate Sue, who has moved into digital like me and works for a beauty website called Gritty Pretty.
We joined the lovely Bacardi team – I talked the ears off two of the blokes, who were evocatively named Loy and Montgomery – for a magical night of cocktails and camaraderie and visited three venues: The Barber Shop, Stitch Bar and The Lobo. And the mood, food and drinks were all outstanding.
We started with wheelie bin graffiti art at the Barber Shop, which will take place for the public on May 1 (10am -2pm). It was also the site of our favourite cocktail of the night, a Pear Spritz with Bombay Sapphire, pear syrup, mint, sparkling wine and Montenegro. It’s the one in the champagne glass a bit earlier in the blog post.
Then it was on to Stitch Bar for a ‘South of the Border’ Mexican themed dinner, drinks and entertainment – the next night is May 5 and tickets still available. Lobo Plantation had killer cocktails and great Cuban music.
Oh, and I looked across at one point and recognised a fellow attendee was a former art director from my Woman’s Day era, Del. My world is always way too small like that. He’s still at the company and was there as the plus one of his wife, who works at Who magazine. They were stepping in for a lovely woman called Olivia, who I met at a Cape Mentelle event I attended last year.
Next we went to the sewing machine adorned Stitch Bar, which served up traditional Mexican food, margarita’s and live mariachis. Everything was fabulous. We loved the roasted corn “ribs” and pork tacos and the mariachis were very cool.
Then it was on to The Lobo, which had a Cuban trio performing. It was the most gorgeous bar, with a pre-Castro feel. It was down a flight of stairs and felt like you were entering another world.
We sat in the classy booth pictured below to drink daiquiris until I finally conceded exhaustion at around 9.45pm and tottered off home to finish my Drinks Digest newsletter. Yawn.
But it was great to see the city filled with happy people enjoying the nightlife and it felt very cool to be out and about. All three bars get two thumbs up from us, although our favourite by a millimetre would be The Lobo – the decor was just so wonderful. It genuinely felt like you were at a little bar in the Caribbean. We had a bulk fun night.
For more information about YCK Laneway Block Party, or for the full program of events visit www.ycklaneways.com.au
Ps I have a huge day and night (eeek) ahead and might not get the chance to blog until Saturday. Stay tuned.