The Island Bar is a place where everyone would feel comfortable, no matter who you are or where you’re from. It combines palm trees, astro turf, deck chairs and a barbeque into a mix that provides an exotic, Hawaiian-style atmosphere that’s well-loved by the many patrons that frequent the bar.
The actual Bar is constructed from four shipping containers. The interior consists of tables created from wooden cable reels as well as director’s chairs, vintage crockery, plastic fruit, palm trees and their upstairs area also has flowers in window boxes. So it’s definitely not your average run-of-the-mill Bar.
Marco Faraone, the 2010 winner of the Bartender of the Year Award, is not only the brains behind the Island Bar but is the main man behind the bar on a nightly basis as well. This means you can be confident that you’re in the best possible hands, no matter what your tastebuds crave.
The Island Bar is restricted in its hours of operation as you can only access it via the 12 minute ferry ride from Circular Quay and the last one departs the Island at 8.30pm except on Sundays when it’s 7.44pm. This means that 8.30pm is also the Bar’s closing time. However, this doesn’t mean you have to miss out because it opens at 12.30pm from Tuesday to Sunday.
You can take full advantage of the daylight hours and have a lunchtime visit during the week or a leisurely lunch on the weekend. So you still have lots of scope for enjoyment at this unique Bar. You just have to plan your time a little smarter.
The staff in the Island Bar dress to blend in with the atmosphere of the place. No typical bar or restaurant attire here. Instead, the men look like they have just come from one of the cabanas. Service is very efficient though. Despite the unusual style of the venue, that is one department that’s not lacking.
The menu is varied and offers numerous mouth-watering, light food choices. Whether you’re there for a snack or a meal, your choices include: salads, Bruschetta and platters of Italian cured meats.
As for the alcoholic treats, that’s where the fun really begins. Whether you’re there for one drink or a few, there are some interesting choices among the many wines and 22 cocktails on offer at the Island Bar. The staff are knowledgeable about the different drinks on the menu so feel free to ask whatever questions you may have.
The Bar’s signature drink is the Blind Beggar Punch. It consists of gin, cranberry juice, fresh raspberries, lemon juice a hint of essence and some sugar. At $42 per drink, it isn’t exactly cheap but it’s definitely worth trying if you like the ingredients. A Tommy’s Margarita or a Negroni are two of the other popular cocktails to try.
The Island Bar is so close to suburbia and yet it’s so different that you wouldn’t expect such a delightful place could possibly exist so close to Sydney. Whether you’re a resident or a tourist, it’s definitely one venue that’s worth a visit.