Bars and Nightclubs
Sydney East, Sydney

Pocket Bar

13 Burton St, Darlinghurst, NSW
Visit website

They say good things come in small packages. Pocket Bar - the latest addition to Oxford St is a small venue with a quirky face, relaxed attitude and a very fun, artistic vibe. For months, the hottest campaign has been Sydney's laneway bars – a concept seeing the small watering holes of Melbourne being replicated in Australia's unofficial capital.

Make a Function Enquiry Get a response within 24 hours

Pocket Bar Photos

Pocket Rocket

Review by Nastasia Campanella

They say good things come in small packages. Pocket Bar - the latest addition to Oxford St is a small venue with a quirky face, relaxed attitude and a very fun, artistic vibe. For months, the hottest campaign has been Sydney's laneway bars – a concept seeing the small watering holes of Melbourne being replicated in Australia's unofficial capital. Since November 2009, small seem to be popping up all across Sydney, but in my opinion, Pocket takes the cake as the best so far.

My friends and I ventured to Pocket at about ten on a Saturday night. A line confronted us at the door and the kind security man let us know the wait would be 20 minutes. A sign on the wall outside kept us amused: "Shh, people are sleeping". The friendly security guard chatted to us while we waited - something unusual in Sydney.

We entered through a very narrow door and were lead to a cute table in the corner of the room. Soft 70's / 80's tunes played softly in the background. It was great to go to a place where one, we could have a conversation without screaming and two, where we could sing along to classic hits. Pocket Bar seats 65, but on the night we went, there may have been a few more. Despite this, we weren't at all squashed.

The bar has a house party feel about it. With the fabulous second hand mismatched furniture, shelves filled with books and decks of cards used as table numbers. Co owner, Carl Schlothauer [who you'll often catch working behind the bar], tells me the furniture was purchased off eBay – from families right across Sydney. The limited space gives a very intimate vibe and is fun for meeting new people as groups tend to share tables and sofas. That night my friends and I played a crazy singing game of Finish The Lyrics with a group of strangers.

Another couple of cool aspects is the fact that staff take and deliver orders and the walls are dressed with very in-your-face art work. A pare of huge boobs stared at us as we flicked through the menu. Yes, that's right, breasts! Artist, Steve Gollow is responsible for this mural and Schlothauer thinks it's hysterical!

I'm not overly impressed with the cocktail selection - there isn't a lot. However, I did enjoy them when they were served. The Bramble was great – blackberries topped with lime, Gin and blackberry Liqueur. The traditional Negroni was also nice – Gin shaken with Vermouth and Campari - it's a drink where bitter and sweet collide nicely. The wine list isn't huge, but I'm told the 15 whites and 20 reds on offer are good ones. This bar doesn't serve shots or pre-mixed drinks either. Food wise, there are just crepes. For a sweet treat, get the banana, strawberry and mascarpone. On the savoury side, the smoked salmon and spinach is nice while the Herb Marinated chicken with crème fraiche is meaty goodness.

By day though, grab yourself a few European delights for breakky – try the Danishes or the classic eggs benedict. Breakfast and beautiful coffee is served daily until three pm which makes for the perfect spot to study. Oh, yes! Who ever thought eggs, a glass of wine and exam notes would mix!

Pocket is one of those places too cute to describe. Keeping food and beverages simple is what I believe makes this bar a success. Grab a mate, slip on a funky t-shirt and get down there to see it for yourself. It's a small place with a very big personality.

Make a Function Enquiry

A Second Review of Pocket Bar

Review by James Thomas

Operating out of what was once an old garage off busy Oxford Street, Pocket Bar has become an inner-city institution, known and loved throughout Darlinghurst for its arty décor, tasty cocktails and surprisingly friendly vibe. Since opening in 2009, the cosy small bar (which proudly proclaims itself as one of the first small bars in Sydney) has managed to build a formidable reputation as both an imminently approachable and yet unassailably cool establishment; an ideal stop-off for party people in the midst of a night out as well as for those just after an easy after-work drink.

And the drinks are definitely worth stopping by for: a quick read through Pocket’s extensive cocktail list is an entertaining exercise in itself, and the bar’s competent bartenders whip up their own exquisite variations on all of the classic martinis, mojitos and other mixers that we’ve come to expect. The creamy ‘Pearls Jam’ comes particularlyrecommended from this reviewer, but everything on the list looks pretty great (and by all indications probably tastes great, as well). Also on the drinks menu are a range of wines and interesting local and imported beers, including the delicious Dos Blockos pale lager. The food items (generally shared plates) also look very appealing, although we did not have the chance to dine at Pocket Bar on our visit.

Because it’s such a tiny place, the bar does tend to get very crowded very quickly, and squeezing through a Pocket crowd on a Friday or Saturday evening might not be the average visitor’s idea of a relaxing time. But during its less busy periods Pocket Bar becomes a remarkably intimate space. The gentle low lighting and comfy couches give the interior a very homely feel, with brown brick walls and warm fairy lights adding to the laid-back atmosphere.

Venturing into the restrooms proves to be even more entertaining than a look at the drinks menu, with vintage nude shots from old magazines and random interviews with movie stars from the '70s and '80s inexplicably plastered up on the cubicle walls.

The whole bar maintains a strangely arty yet snug and familiar vibe, and it’s this kind of unusual but well-balanced décor, along with the great music (a mix of new and old rock, indie and electronica) that make newcomers smile and keep them wanting to hang around for a couple more drinks. The staff are generally very friendly and helpful as well, and at several points during the night a talkative waitress drops by our table to ask if we want to order another glass. The crowd is generally skewed towardthe early-to-mid twenties set, but Pocket is by no means an exclusive establishment, with slightly older groups filtering in as the night wears on.

Colourful and lively, Darlinghurst’s Pocket Bar remains a really friendly small bar with a great atmosphere and a more than solid drinks menu. At an average price of about $18 per cocktail, a drinking session at Pocket could very quickly become an expensive night out, but if you’re in the mood to treat yourself to a sumptuous alcoholic concoction, this pint-sized watering hole is definitely not a bad spot to consider.

Make a Function Enquiry

Captured At Pocket Bar

Nearby Alternatives to Pocket Bar

Real Time DJ + Music Artist News
Latest Festival + Live Gig News

Real time nightlife guides:


All Rights Reserved. Copyright 2010. Australia"s biggest Bar & Night Club Directory