The Terrace Rooftop Bar sets the scene in East Village Hotel, Darlinghurst.
The Terrace Rooftop Bar sets the scene in East Village Hotel, Darlinghurst.

Rooftop bar popularity is going up

SYDNEY'S watering holes are setting a new high bar, with the popularity of top venues growing and no ceiling in sight.

The City of Sydney has approved four new rooftop bars in the CBD over the past year, including the new Hamptons-inspired rooftop watering hole above the Shelbourne Hotel on Sussex St.

It joins a long list across the city, from the inner west's Websters Bar in Newtown across to East Village in Darlinghurst, The Ivy and The Bristol Arms in the CBD, Manly's The Ivanhoe Hotel and The Rocks' Glenmore Hotel and Hotel Palisade in Millers Point.

Eliza Dorner and Doris Nguyen enjoy the open air bar at The Shelbourne Hotel. Picture: Justin Lloyd
Eliza Dorner and Doris Nguyen enjoy the open air bar at The Shelbourne Hotel. Picture: Justin Lloyd

Restaurant and Catering Industry Association deputy chief executive Sally Neville said there had been a spike in the number of new venues.

"It's a contemporary trend whereby business operators are using what was once dead space to attract customers to a new style of entertainment," she said.

"People love the outdoors and wide open spaces.

Kaine Bayfield and Marc Bayfield admire the view at the Light Brigade Hotel in Woollahra. Picture: John Appleyard
Kaine Bayfield and Marc Bayfield admire the view at the Light Brigade Hotel in Woollahra. Picture: John Appleyard
Aurelie Pinar and Chelsea Brown at Smoke Bar in Barangaroo. Picture: Justin Lloyd
Aurelie Pinar and Chelsea Brown at Smoke Bar in Barangaroo. Picture: Justin Lloyd

 

"In Sydney, we've got such fantastic weather and there's many times of the year when it's perfect acceptable to sit outside and enjoy the day and night hours in the open air."

Under law, the number of people allowed on a rooftop bar depends on the entry and exit arrangements and also noise impacts.

Trading hours are often restricted.

However Australian Hotels Association liquor director John Green said pubs were prepared to take the plunge despite the hurdles.

 

 

Tthe Glenmore Hotel in the Rocks got in the Australia Day swing this year.
Tthe Glenmore Hotel in the Rocks got in the Australia Day swing this year.

 

Rooftop bar of the Palisade Hotel in the Rocks. Picture: Tim Pascoe
Rooftop bar of the Palisade Hotel in the Rocks. Picture: Tim Pascoe

 

Mahalia Lloyd and Monica Kim toast life at the Palisade. Picture: Tim Pascoe
Mahalia Lloyd and Monica Kim toast life at the Palisade. Picture: Tim Pascoe

 

"It's obviously a significant design alteration, so there's development approval processes, there's heritage listings, there's structural issues for venues considering it," he said.

"Some of the new venues can integrate it into their design. Older venues have their challenges, but they feel that taking on that challenge is worth the effort.

"People want to experience our climate, they want to experience the vibe of being outdoors but in a quality licenced premises.

 

Sweethearts in Potts Point.
Sweethearts in Potts Point.

 

Get wet inside and out at The Pool Club rooftop bar at The Ivy on George Street.
Get wet inside and out at The Pool Club rooftop bar at The Ivy on George Street.

 

Rooftop action at the Bristol Arms Hotel in Sussex St.
Rooftop action at the Bristol Arms Hotel in Sussex St.

 

The rooftop bar of the Metropolitan Hotel in Bridge St.
The rooftop bar of the Metropolitan Hotel in Bridge St.

 

"We think it's a great thing for Sydney and our economy - daytime and night-time. We're seeing a number of venues having a look at their building design and taking advantage of opportunities where they are.

"There's no better view of Sydney than up on the top of the Glenmore Hotel, and there's newer ones such as the Shelbourne Hotel and Hyde Park Hotel."

Eliza Dorner said she loved drinking at rooftop bars with her mates.

"It's nice to be in breezy places, it's great for summer," she said.

"(Rooftop bars) have gone crazy. There has been this new trend."



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