Former Rocks opium den reborn as the Doss House

Eoin Daniels and Colm O'Neill's new bar the Doss House will have a whisky focus.
Eoin Daniels and Colm O'Neill's new bar the Doss House will have a whisky focus. Photo: Supplied

The sandstone building at 77-79 George Street in The Rocks has been home to a bootmaker, a boarding house and an opium dealer during a rich history dating back to the 1840s.

From this month the building will receive the Sydney must-have item of the new millennium: a small bar.

Where rum once ruled this end of old Sydney town, The Doss House will have a whisky focus. "We're stocking Limeburners Darkest Winter Whisky," says co-owner Colm O'Neill.

And in a move that would've warmed the heart of Joseph Banks, the cocktail menu will incorporate native botanicals.

"One with blackberry and native lemon myrtle will be a kind of fruity, sherbert-fizz style of drink," he says.

The Doss House is a co-production between school friends O'Neill, a bar veteran, and Eoin Daniels, who has worked on fitouts including Opera Bar and The Old Clare Hotel. They've left the sandstone walls untouched, filling the room with American oak furniture and fittings, as well as custom-leather seating.

Bar Manager Alex O'Brien (Bar No. 5, Archie Rose) has joined the start-up, and the food menu sounds just the ticket with emu prosciutto, smoked wallaby and boar salami all on offer in opening months.

Open Tue-Sat noon-2am; Sun noon-midnight.

77-79 George Street, The Rocks.