“We’re not in Kansas any more,” the red neon proclaims. If you’re reading it, you’ve found your way through Kansas City Shuffle into the hidden Tuxedo Bar. It’s the eighth business for Benny Sweeten, a barista by trade, and it’s also Sydney’s first dedicated espresso martini bar. Yeah okay non-coffee drinkers, keep your knickers on... they also make Negronis, Aperol Spritzes and Old Fashioneds.
I popped in for an Espresso 101 ($20) made on the companion café’s Single Origin's house blend, Reservoir. It’s smooth and round, and not overly decadent - the perfect way to make a juncture between day and night.
"Everything you see here either I built, or my twin brother built," says Sweeten as he explains the building’s rich history, as the first Cadbury’s factory. He’s kept the architectural shell as beautiful as possible, though he’s chucked in some welcome air-conditioning.
With his own residence on Gloucester Street, Sweeten is keen to make this bar a community space where local residents can gather. Tuesday nights are community-driven with entertainments like free pool, stitch’n’bitch nights where you can get your craft on over a nice glass of wine, and Seinfeld trivia nights (Sweeten relates to Jerry). Plentiful prizes and cut-price martinis and fried chicken pull in the crowds, who participate in fun activities like an Elaine dance-off.
Corporate functions at Tuxedo Bar are also winners, because everything – from miniature bacon maple doughnuts to luminous blue, minted gooey chocolates - are baked fresh on the premises daily.
195 Gloucester Street, The Rocks
Ph: (02) 9247 7309