Jazz & Blues
The Commons Local Eating House & Downtown Bar
May 11, 2018
Housed in a gorgeous, 160-year-old heritage building, The Commons is a delightful place. Spilling out onto a quaint courtyard decorated with hanging flowerpots, there’s a restaurant at street level serving modern Australian grub with an emphasis on sustainably-sourced produce you can even purchase boxes of fresh fruit and veg to take home. And they do a great breakfast menu, too. Upstairs, there’s a private dining room that can seat up to 16 for a special event, while at the subterranean level you’ll find the venue’s piece de resistance the downtown bar. With hand-chipped sandstone walls and professor’s study-like furnishings (vintage chairs, book-lined shelves), it’s nailed the speakeasy vibe, and the cocktail list keeps with the prohibition-era theme start with a whisky sour, followed by a Harvard (cognac, sweet vermouth and bitters), or perhaps a New Orleans Sazerac (rye whiskey, sugar and Peychauds bitters). Absinthe gets a good look-in here, as do quality gins, vermouth and creme de violette (a sweet liqueur flavoured by violet roots and leaves). If you’re not in the mood for cocktails, there is a great selection of Australian boutique beers on offer, too. The vinyl soundtrack here is generally a mix of smooth, mid-century tunes, and there’s often live blues, soul and jazz check The Commons’ website for information about upcoming gigs. Having taken out TimeOut’s ‘best small bar’ title in 2011, The Commons remains a popular spot, and can get a little busy. Fortunately, service standards are high you won’t be left waiting long at the bar here.