Bars and Nightclubs
Inner West, Sydney

Kuleto’s Cocktail Bar

157 King St, Newtown, NSW
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Well known to the locals, University students and local hospital staff and has become a must be place between 6 – 7.30pm Cocktail Happy Hour, where a large number of the regular cocktails are served at half price or two for one. Electronic/Lounge music sets the tone for this fantastic venue spread over 3 levels.

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Kuleto’s Cocktail Bar Review

Review By Ben King

As a boy, it is a little odd me doing a review on a cocktail bar, however, last Saturday I think I went to the best cocktail bar on earth, and as such felt I should do a review about it.

The cocktail bar I am referring to is Kuleto’s on King Street in Newtown. Many reading this most likely have walked past this relatively innocuous venue on your way to one of the many bars and nightclubs in the area, not even considering having a look inside.

So to all those that have walked past without giving this place a 2nd look, I can only say to you, YOU ARE MISSING OUT ON AN AMAZING PLACE.

So what I think separates this cocktail bar from the crowd is the amazing cocktails (and they are amazing) combined with the quintessentially Newtown feel to the place, which is relaxed, laid back and informal. This atmosphere was simply unquestionable given that I was wearing thongs and nobody batted and eyelid.

However for the girls out there looking for sophistication in a cocktail bar, do not think that Kuleto’s is not the place for you. If you feel class and sophistication is spawned from the threads you are wearing, let it be known you are not the only punter in this cocktail bar who feels that way as alongside the thong wearing clientele are the “dressed to impress crowd” drinking side by side.

It’s an amazing atmosphere from a cocktail bar that is famous for its 7 to 8 happy hour with 2 for 1 cocktails Fridays and Saturdays. But let me reiterate, these aren’t cocktails mixed by an 18 year old university student studying arts and wondering why they are working in a cocktail bar instead of running the country. The bar staff here know what they are doing and make some of the best looking (and tasting) cocktails you are likely to see this side of the city.

So, if you are strolling down Newtown’s main road, I strongly suggest you look past the kitsch looking halogen light buzzing away and take a look inside, have a drink and embrace the most unique cocktail bar in Sydney.

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A Second Review of Kuleto’s

Review By Nastasia Campanella

Uni students embrace happy hour in Sydney’s inner west, writes Nastasia Campanella. Studying at university often means living life on a shoe string. Youve got to budget for textbooks, rent and a few scraps of food to munch on between shifts at your local. Students often find pubs the cheapest places to spend their time and beer is generally the most economical drink of choice. Some of us however, are looking for something a little less cheap and nasty without breaking the bank. Swap your beers and burgers for cocktails and pizzas.

Originally opened as the Hampton Court Hotel in 1877, Kuleto’s was given the name we know today by Licensee, Donna Asensio because it “rhymed with stilettos”. Since Asensio took over, Kuleto’s has been dubbed cocktail heaven. The ‘King on King Street’, as I like to call him, boasts three bars, little round tables and black crocodile skinned lounges.

Unlike other bars, this place has a daily happy hour. Head in Monday to Friday between six and seven thirty pm or Saturdays between six and seven. Drinks are at their best here during these times what with everything either half price or buy one, get one free!

Speaking of happy, sip on one of the cocktails and I can assure you, you’ll be tickle pink! I’m a regular at this joint and really love smacking my lips around the No Mercy. It’s a bold fusion of mixed berries pureed with Chambord, Dom Benedictine and Jagermeister, topped with a shot of red bull. If you want something a little sweeter, your best bet is the Honeycomb. Butterscotch Schnapps and Baileys is blended with mango nectar and coconut cream to make a dreamy drink which tastes like honey without actually having honey in it.

Kuleto’s has tradition down packed as well. Wrap your lips around the Toblerone which is a sexy silky concoction, first created in Switzerland. The team let this full-bodied blend speak for itself. Frangelico and baileys cuddles up with white creme de cacao and kahlua. A spooning of honey and a swirl of cream finishes this rich beverage off very nicely.

If you’re looking to be adventurous, the Spring Martini is for you. Taking a traditional drink and adding a somewhat Asian touch, this cocktail is served tall. It is a fresh combination of mint and muddled cucumber lathered alongside Bombay sapphire gin. The Lady Boy also has Asian routes and is a fiery mingling of vodka infused with kaffir lime lief, coconut liqueur, lime and a splash of chilli.

Cocktails head north from $14. The team keep food simple with great tasting pizzas. You’ll find all your favourite kinds, priced under $10. If your holding a function at the bar, you’ll be happy to know the team allow patrons to do what no other bar in Sydney does. Head to one of the neighbouring Thai, Vietnamese or Turkish restaurants and order your favourite dishes, then have them transported over to Kuleto’s to enjoy them while you sip on your cocktails. That adds a whole new dimension to the concept of BYO!

The ambience, like the food policy, is very relaxed. It’s a vibe where anything goes – torn jeans and screen printed t-shirts included! This one is for people who like their drinks done well and their bills to end without multiple zeros.

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A Third Review of Kuleto’s Cocktail Bar

Review By Gemma McDonald

Very few people will pass up a decent cocktail, but finding one in Sydney can prove to be quite a challenge when every man and his dog make them. Kuleto’s Cocktail Bar is exactly that; a Cocktail Bar – and they certainly live up to their title.

Given the speedy production of beverages, you may surprise yourself with how many two-for-one cocktails you can drink within the glorious event that is Happy Hour. While the cocktails are not strikingly cheap, with the utilisation of this hour, between six and seven on a Saturday, they are affordable enough to be your staple drink for the night rather than just a treat. This is one of the main reasons so many university students treat Kuleto’s like a second home throughout the week.

If you miss happy hour and need to be more sparing on the fancy, colourful drinks, they also have a limited selection of wine and beer that starts at $7. For a decent feed, your options are limited to four choices of pizza at $10 each, but food establishments are not scarce in Newtown so it’s not something to worry about.

One of the excellent things about this place is that you can dictate the kind of night you have, based on where you and your company choose to convene. However, with this comes the bar’s biggest downfall: the trek up a seemingly life-threatening staircase. Admittedly, this staircase may have been less dangerous if I wasn’t mildly intoxicated and wearing sky-high heels, but I was definitely not the only customer in this state. In saying this, where there are stairs there is always a ground floor and in this case, one that goes off.

Downstairs is where all the action happens. It’s noisy, filled with music, packed with Newtown and therefore has a wait on everything – much like every other bar in Sydney. This is the only level that produces blended cocktails and pizzas, but not all cocktails are on special during Happy Hour here.

Level one has a much more relaxed bar that oversees Newtown’s main street and is great for small functions. The atmosphere is considerably more subdued, with Lounge and Jazz music playing in the background, while you choose from different selection of delicious cocktails that range from sweet to stupendously potent, all of which are $15 for two during Happy Hour.

After grabbing some drinks, I highly suggest a Lotus Chill or Toffee Apple, you can head up to the top floor for a very casual, quiet place to sit. With no music, the top floor is a small, open-air deck that is ideal for casual drinks and a conversation.

The versatility of the venue and its broad atmosphere would suggest that it caters for everyone. However, based entirely on its location, smack-bang in the middle of Newtown, I’d have to disagree. Newtown, while it’s filled with eccentricity and liveliness, it is also absent of a number of people who cannot stand its atmosphere (and population). Kuleto’s Cocktail Bar is not the place to change such opinions.

My greatest highlight, other than all of the orange and the random, freaky Disney-inspired cartoons, would have to have been the service. You’ll find the staff, on level one especially, to be impeccably polite, efficient and friendly. If you are reciprocal in politeness, unlike most of their clientele, you may also find yourself with a free drink.

If you like Newtown, high-quality cocktails and can scale several flights of stairs while drinking, this is an ideal place for you.

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