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Bar at the End of the Wharf

My date’s late, so I’m nursing an Old Fashioned ($20). It’s not on their short list of cocktails, but they do offer to make any classics you have a hankering for; so I forgive the bartender for it being sweet and gritty with undissolved sugar. Ordering off-list isn’t my usual practice, but I’m combating pre-theatre anxiety.

Bar Fly: Mr Tipply’s

There are several large African and Oriental portrait-murals in the downstairs of Mr Tippy’s. Moroccan tiles encase the bar and medina blue is the feature wall colour.

QT Canberra

It’s high time someone was brave enough to have some fun with politicians. From Tony Abbott quotes about election campaigns being “budgie smuggler free zones” in the in-room guide; to crazy past'n'present Prime Minister wallpaper; to press pack paparazzi bursting from the lifts; this hotel takes a youthful, pop-art approach to reflecting its location in our nation’s capital.

Keg & Brew

Sydney has a new home of deep-fried everything. Well actually it’s an old home – the former KB Hotel – done up a bit fancy-like, and rebadged as the (slightly-new) Keg & Brew.

Bar Fly: The Angry Pirate

“Sometimes theme bars are just half-arsed,” says Chris, as he lets me taste The Angry Pirate’s Grog: a heavily spiced blend of dark, white, and black rum.

Bar Fly: The Record Crate

Booker T and the MGs is flooding the cosy courtyard of The Record Crate, where I’m surrounded by colourful randomness: Astroturf, beer keg tables, Hendrix posters, a hula hoop and a rather baffling chunk of concrete.

Bar Fly: The Hive Bar

I am drawn like a magnet to bars that have cider by the pint, kumera fries, and sassy bartenders, and The Hive is a cosy and welcoming locals’ bar in the little faux-village of Erskineville.

Bar Fly: Brooklyn Social

’m so full; I think this might be how I die… death by fried chicken. Brooklyn Social is both late-night rock’n’roll bar and delightfully sleazy diner, decked out in dark wood, exposed light bulbs, and vintage signage.

The Argyle Canteen

Wood fire pizzas – and quite credible ones at that – are now delighting crowds inside this stylish, please-everyone space in The Argyle complex.

GoodTime Diner

Describing itself as having the ‘gritty underground bar scene of Old New Orleans’, The Eastern’s newest diner is lacking a little in the good time feel department. It still looks very much like the ill-fated Greek restaurant (Anatoli) whose space it took over.