When the Barry O'Farrell Band-Aid solutions (aka the lockout laws) were introduced in February, it became difficult to find a late-night drink in the city. Thankfully, there's still a few great gin joints to revel in until 2am or later. After that you'll need to head to the casino or Strawberry Hills Hotel to get your Bukowski on.
GoodGod Small Club
Keen for a dance until 3am but don't want to deal with 'roided-up do-you-even-lift-bros? GoodGod's Danceteria is for you. There's always a stellar line-up of local and international artists pumping out electro, punk, surf-rock, whatever (probably not folk) for a good price. The front bar has free entry, the vibe of a Splendour in the Grass dance tent (on the festival's first night when everyone's still fresh), and good value in a range of punch jugs.
The team behind Grasshopper bar made a bold move opening this uber-sophisticated, members-only bar in Darlinghurst earlier in the year. There's no food, no bouncer and, if you'll please, no photos. Membership costs about as much as a country club and that will guarantee you entry, privacy,and access to a killer list of cocktails and champagne. The booths here are terribly sexy, by the way. As is the sound system.
Sitting in an underground bar surrounded by heritage sandstone is top way to enjoy a tipple in Sydney. The new-look Tatler has a 1950s feel that's all class and no rockabilly kitsch. It seems rude to not order an Old Fashioned.
A nightcapper for inner westies returning home after drinks in the city. The staff are a little cocktail-obsessed and mix the best negronis, sazeracs, and vieux carres within a five-kilometre radius. There's lighter drink options, too - maybe a fresh pear juice and Four Pillars gin - and snappy tunes to tempt impromptu dancing at the low-lit bar.
The end of Frankie's 4am booze service was a blow to hospitality workers when the last-drinks-at-three rule was enforced. The New-Yawk-style dive bar is still open late, though, with one of the best beer-by-the-bottle and pizza-by-the-slice selections in Sydney.
Need to know
GoodGod Small Club, 53-55 Liverpool Street, Sydney, 8084 0587
Magazin, 113 William Street, Darlinghurst, no listed number
The Tatler, 169 Darlinghurst Road, Darlinghurst, 9331 8811
Different Drummer, 185 Glebe Point Road, Glebe, 9552 3406
Frankie's Pizza, 50 Hunter Street, Sydney, no listed number