Hey sweetheart, now that this old dive is closing up… I know of a swingin’ new place. Some guy told me about it a few days ago, he said it was a hip honky-tonk with it’s door all hidden up behind one of them hot dog joints? And the hot dogs aren’t half bad either, he says – anyway, whaddaya say sweetheart? I’ll buy you a gin soda, take you for a dance…
It’s a warm midnight and the pavement is slick from a passing summer shower. The lights have gone up and it’s time to move on, but this ol’ suburb has been kicking off its heels and crawling in to bed or wandering further abroad… up until now.
A phoney fifties’ coke machine makes a secret entrance to a space you’d never expect: welcome to The Soda Factory, Surry Hills’ newest late-night sweet spot. They’ve stripped out the Mars Lounge, Tone and all that fleshy interior to present the stunning industrial bones of this beautiful old building, and there’s a top-notch cocktail menu to match.
And with it’s late-trading license, The Soda Factory will have the tunes sorted. Expect a regular offering of live acts, international DJ’s & local vibe controllers to engineer your nights from chill in the early evening to some sweet, sweet d-floor action later on, expect to leave early… if you know what we mean.
Bar owner and Experience Entertainment Director, Graham Cordery says, “Surry Hills is one of the most diverse and trendy suburbs in the world, but when it comes to late night offerings, there’s been something missing.”
He knows how to make a place work, too: with Experience Entertainment at the helm of ivy’s weekly shindigs for the last 2.5 years and bringing home AHA’s Best Entertainment Venue two years in a row, his standards for a good night out are understandably pretty darn high.
“Just like Surry Hills, there’s going to be a little bit of something for everyone when we open our doors.”
Joining Cordery’s wealth of experience in the electronic music scene, partner Michael Chase brings a world of experience in live music acts to the table, mastering the delicate confluence of old-school classics and contemporary beats, from Buddy Holly to Dangermouse. Chase’s background at MGM Distribution paints a picture of one of the most well-respected names in the music industry – and with that clout comes some serious pulling power.
Aside from big names, early evening punters might be treated to some select live sets. “The live music component will also try to support some of the best up-and-coming and indie talents out there,” Chase explains. “Earlier in the night or mid-week nights we’d love to get some great acoustic sets on.”
At this bar & music venue, the stage will find itself under the feet of the coolest touring bands and exclusive guest DJs. This exciting hybrid of bar & creative space boasts a first for Sydney, evoking the experience of a smoky late night New York club. That’s how you’ll find New York’s DJ SPINNA manning the decks for the launch party on Saturday 23rd February and the legendary Grandmaster Flash a few weeks later.
But don’t worry if you left your dancing shoes at home: you’ll still find a spot at the bar to suit, with a drinks menu designed by mixologist Mitchell Warters, straight from London. He’s spent the last two years perfecting the art of the delicious drop at Richard Branson’s exclusive members-only Roof Gardens cocktail bar on High Street, LDN. But rather than a traditional serving of spirits and classic cocktails, Warters will be creating some unique and exciting signature drinks for The Soda Factory to complement the old school atmosphere.
Warters’ philosophy is all about flavour-focused, accessible, unpretentious cocktails with an adventurous streak, but not too intimidating. His playful approach to cocktails includes nostalgic numbers like root beer floats with gourmet ice cream and switched out bubbles (like raspberry lemonade and vodka ice cream). The pina colada and martini get new twists, too. A focus on quality will bring you a more ‘adult’ selection of organic vodka, lychee, ruby red grapefruit and sage, or pepper tequila, basil, strawberry and cranberry juice.
The soda syphon will also make a triumphant return with a boozy makeover, serving up share cocktails of sparkling apple and rum as well as gin and lemonade and similar classic pairings. 12 classic cocktails, 12 original cocktails and late-night service: there should be no shortage of delicious dance-floor lubrication going on at this hip new bar.
For those ones in the know, The Soda Factory will offer the highest quality entertainment and beverages in a wonderfully central location, long into the night and beyond.
So whether you stop for a nightcap hot dog at Bobby’s Boss Dogs – the fast food joint that conceals this hidden gem – or pass through it as you wander out in the early morning glow, there’s a secret spot waiting for you at the bottom end of Surry Hills – but don’t just go telling everyone, alright? Shh, it’s just this way…
Monday – Wednesday 5pm – 12am
Thursday 5pm – 2am
Friday 5pm – 5am
Saturday 7pm – 5am
Thurs Feb 21st (VIP launch) DJ SPINNA (NYC)
Sat Feb 22nd – Public Launch Party feat DJ SPINNA
Sat March 2nd – GREG WILSON (UK)
Thursday March 15th – ELECTRIC EMPIRE (Live)
Sat March 16th – DROP OUT ORCHESTRA (Sweden)
Friday March 22nd – GRANDMASTER FLASH (USA)