Bars and Nightclubs
Sydney CBD, Sydney

Hotel CBD

75 York St, Sydney, NSW
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This impressive Victorian building has been restored and re-modeled into a reputable oasis of style. The spacious rroms, all with high ceilings private the perfect venue forr a function or night out.

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Hotel CBD Review

Review by Kevin Moody

When you plan a trip to a Merivale group venue you always feel assured that you will be met with class and style. The Ground floor bar at Hotel CBD – located on the corner of York and King Street - is no exception. As you pass by on street level this venue may seem unremarkable, but looks can be deceiving. It’s the kind of place you could come to preparing to kick on elsewhere but end up staying all night.

Hotel CBD has rooms on five floors, including Bistrode CBD restaurant on level one and the energetic York 75. On the night I went, the upper floors are all hosting private functions - in fact it’s worth noting that the entire venue can sometimes be booked for an event so a backup plan may be necessary. Even so, there are plenty of tables available downstairs on this Saturday night, although you suspect Friday night would be very different.

I get a friendly welcome at the bar as I choose my drink. There are about a dozen tap beers and a couple of ciders, mainly local and very reasonably priced for the CBD – I go for a schooner of Coopers Pale Ale at $6.50. Looking around it seems that most people have opted for a beer or a mixer – a handful have opted for one of the signature cocktails, although I think this is better suited to the chilled vibe of the Club Bar upstairs when it is open. The ground floor bar is well stocked with spirits and there are enough wines to choose from for this type of venue.

As with all rooms at Hotel CBD, the ground floor stays true to the Victorian heritage of the building, with high ceilings making the room feel spacious. The style of this bar is best summed up as ‘less is more’ with plain painted walls and minimal decoration. The polished stone floor is complimented perfectly by the timber top island bar, while a few plants sitting on the bar are as extravagant as it gets. This straight forward approach works well where countless other bars just try too hard. The music tonight seems to feature mainly mid-90's credible pop hits. At first it seems a strange choice, but many times you find yourself thinking how nice it was to hear a certain song again after so many years.

The bar is mainly occupied by couples and small groups, most are early 30's and older. Being a Saturday in the CBD – and in part due to the age of the clientele – it is fairly quiet. Apart from the group of rugby fans at one end getting a bit excited in front of the TV, everyone else is chatting among themselves without the need for raised voices.

With all drinks reasonably priced there really is no reason to move on elsewhere, even with so many other high profile venues just a short stumble away. If you fancy a bite to eat you can order from the bar menu and sample the delightful food from head chef Jeremy Strode without the formality of eating upstairs in the restaurant. All in all Hotel CBD is a great place for a casual drink with friends, with options on the upper floors to take your evening in other directions.

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