Bars and Nightclubs
Darling Harbour, Sydney


17 Little Pier St, Darling Harbour, NSW
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Inspired by its history as one of Sydney’s first microbreweries, located right in the heart of Darling Harbour, the Pumphouse consistently stocks an evolving and diverse beer selection tailored to quench the thirst of beer lovers and novices alike.

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What to Expect @ Pumphouse

Review by Kelly Teng

Traditionally, when the words “classy night” and “Sydney” are put together, people immediately think of The Establishment, The Ivy, and The Argyle. However, Darling Harbour hides this modest yet effortlessly stylish location that serves for a lovely evening out with meals, cocktails, and ridiculous amounts of beer. If you are ever walking around Darling Harbour on a night out, you may spot a building that looks half modern and half circa 1800s. It is in here that Pumphouse fuses fine cuisine, fine alcohol, and endless events for a classy night that you won’t forget…no matter what the occasion.

Pumphouse’s history lies in the industrial sector: the location was originally a station for the Sydney and Suburban’s Hydraulic Power Company in the 1890s. The building was converted into the Pumphouse Tavern after being saved by the NSW Heritage Council, and became a key supplier of boutique beers. Today, Pumphouse houses Thunderbolt boutique beer, and has undergone a renovation to make it into one of the key spots in Darling Harbour for an evening experience, or a night out.

The first thing that I noticed when walking into Pumphouse – and mind you, this was quite early on in the evening – is the ambience of a quality restaurant for dinner and a drink, as opposed to a bar for university students to drink, drink, and destroy everything that they see. While Pumphouse does have a sizeable bar, the main purpose of patrons during the day and evening is to relax, unwind, and indulge. The restaurant menu offers woodfired pizzas, a la carte dining, and tasting plates, all of which makes it a great place to take a date for a dinner and a drink, or for an intimate dinner between friends and family. On top of this, the drinks menu provides a range of wines (red, rose, sparkling, white, and champagne) and copious amounts of boutique beer with over 80 types to choose from. The beers range from Australian to French, and Singapore to the US, making it a diverse selection to choose from. Pumphouse truly is a location to wine and dine: there is an offer for a dinner of tapas with a drink for two, making it a perfect place to share a meal with that someone special.

As if the menu and the location aren’t thrilling enough…Pumphouse’s decor is both modern and historic at the same time, providing it with a very unique vibe. The glass windows at the entrance provide guests with an undeniably breathtaking view of the Harbour, while the inside offers a far more cosy and intimate experience. The building comprises of two levels. During dinner, these levels are elegant, classy and beautiful but after hours Pumphouse is transformed into a two level location to dance, drink, and have a good time. Pumphouse has events such as Static Saturdays, which means that the hours of partying can go long into the morning. The DJs play a mix of urban and electro, which means that there is something there to suit every person that walks through the door…Oh, and this is always a bonus: the place is huge, hitting just over 300 square metres.

Given the diversity of the Pumphouse’s purposes, there is naturally a diversity in the patrons. The evening sees many older guests who choose to enjoy a meal on the harbour, while night sees Sydney’s young crowd hit the dance floor. Naturally, Pumphouse also transforms its interior: while it is classy and intimate during the dinner period, at night it turns into an urban, grungy location where people can dance and let loose after a hard week.

Pumphouse is a location that needs to be visited more than once to capture the different experiences it has to offer. From grunge club to fancy dinners, it has something for everyone, which makes it a spot that everyone in Sydney should visit at least twice in their lifetime.

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