May 11, 2018
The name tells you just about everything you need to know about the vibe this basement bar, run by the Kings Cross Hotel, is going for. But in considering Sydney’s stringent health and safety regulations, there’s only so dive-y a new bar can be. Ushered in by the friendly bouncers (yes, really), you’ll find the token moodily lit booths and pool tables aplenty, but where you’d traditionally find graffiti, snot balls and faded Guns ‘n’ Roses posters, the walls are hung with funky artwork. And Dive Bar is certainly easier on the lungs and ears than its predecessors. If you’ve got a thing for old time rock ‘n’ roll, the treasure trove of tracks by The Stranglers and The Clash on the jukebox are bound to gobble up a chunk of your beer money. Speaking of beer, the frothy stuff flows freely enough here. Standard cocktails come by the pitcher of course but a few are available by the glass. A fruity mix of vodka, Chambord and fresh strawberries, the Tilly’s Bordello would be a bit girly for dive bar tipple if it wasn’t named after one of Sydney’s most notorious madams. Open til 6am on Saturdays, you’ll find the oddball mix of characters here in the wee hours, from leather-clad bikers to tribes of young clubbers chilling out before the trains start running again. Just don’t plan on stumbling in for a nightcap after a massive bender it goes against everything that classic dive bars stand for, but you risk being turned away if you’re visibly intoxicated.