Darlinghurst is the small bar centre of Sydney, I feel like every time I walk through the back streets I stumble upon a recently opened and surprisingly crowded bar. There’s something about the grittiness of the suburb that lends itself to unpretentious venues and swarms of like-minded people. Nestled amongst it all is The Local Taphouse, which is one of the older establishments in the area, proving you don’t have to be new to the scene to draw a crowd. Boasting three levels, including the infamous rooftop, the Local is just that, the perfect spot for a drink with friends, and being of only a handful of rooftop bars this side of the city it’s no wonder it’s developed a real name for itself.
Despite being born from a love of beer, the Local definitely doesn’t fall short in other departments with a great cocktail menu and equally strong food options. To learn a little more about The Local we tracked down their Events Manager Caroline Ehterton and asked a few questions about what makes the Local a hive for socializing.
How did the idea for The Local come about?
Co-owner of The Local Taphouse, Steve Jeffares, is formerly a filmmaker and when living in Los Angeles in 2000, he was introduced by a friend to craft beer and was immediately struck by how there was so much more to beer than mainstream lagers. Back in Australia he established a neighbourhood bar, The St Kilda Local, and built it over seven years. Guy Greenstone was a regular at the bar and he and Steve became great mates through their shared and similar interests. After Steve undertook an extensive research trips around Europe and the USA, he and Guy cemented their partnership and opened The Local Taphouse in Melbourne in Feb 2007. The Local Taphouse in Darlinghurst opened a year later in 2008.
Why do people swarm to rooftop bars?
There’s something very special about enjoying a delicious drink and some tasty food al fresco, layer in being high up on the roof and it’s a winning combination!
What’s the vibe like at The Local and how do you draw a crowd?
The vibe at The Local is chilled and open. We pride ourselves on great staff and a great product. This is what definitely draws the crowds to our awesome venue.
Who is coming to drink there?
Ah, now that’s a tricky one as I would have to say everyone… from couples enjoying a meal, to work drinkers on a Friday night fresh from the office looking for a good night to people celebrating their engagement. There is a space at The Local for everyone.
How would you use JD Honey in a drink?
We would serve it as a delicious addition to one of our cocktails or simply on ice in one of our Whisky tasting paddles.
When to go: Perfect mid-week lunches for those with offices in Surry Hills, or drop by on Saturday or Sunday afternoons to experience the true Local crowd in full swing.
What to wear: Casual as you like, the beauty of this place is it’s stripped back vibe and eclectic crowd. I’d be rocking my oldest pair of jeans, a pair of Nike Roshe Runs and a suitably Surry Hills style hat.
Who to bring: I frequent this place for a mid-week lunch with work mates. The food menu is strong, and the seating up stairs allows for big groups. That said, you could do a lot worse that taking a cheeky date up to the rooftop for some sundowners tucked in the corner amongst the vines.
How much to bring: Eating and drinking you’ll get away with $80.
The beauty of this establishment is that even if you’re venturing out as a small group, there’s always going to be a friendly crowd waiting for you on the rooftop. You can leave the pretentious Sydney crowd at the door and enter a world of great vibes, good music and Jack Daniel’s honey.