The Wild Rover was not only one of Sydney’s best whiskey bars, but it was a legendary location home to what we thought was easily the best Irish coffee in Sydney. That’s all about to change as the venue says goodbye to its wilder days in preparation for its reinvention as a new dining and drinking destination. Changing name (The Rover) and vibe, the venue will retain its former good-time Irish heritage with an added lick of polish and a chic wine bar feel that’s destined to become a pre-dinner drinking hole for Surry-siders.
Executive Chef Pip Pratt, of Bistecca and The Gidley, looks to evolve the food menu to pair with The Rover’s exciting beverage line-up. Inspired by New England, the menu serves up share plates including the likes of a buttery prawn roll and famous house-made lamb sausage rolls alongside an extensive offering of Australia’s best freshly shucked oysters. The star of the show is set to be Pratt’s take on an English classic – an elevated fish finger sandwich – inspired by the Indian influences and spices of his childhood growing up in the United Kingdom.
“Surry Hills has changed a lot since opening ten years ago with plenty of quality offerings opening their doors. We wanted the bar to evolve with it, stepping up to become somewhere guests can enjoy both food and drink with equal merit whilst retaining its iconic friendly character and all-are-welcome charm,” said Co-owner and operator of The Wild Rover, James Bradey.
Retaining its renowned whiskey influence, The Rover will also be shifting focus to a 50-strong punchy and dynamic wine list, highlighting some of the best organic and bio-dynamic wines curated by award-winning sommelier Kyle Poole, formerly of Orana Restaurant, Rockpool Bar & Grill and Woodcut. The seasonal cocktail menu will also be getting a rejig, thanks to 2019 Australian Bartender of the Year Alex Gondzioulis, who looks to incorporate elevated twists on much-loved classics as well as whiskey highballs using sodas and ferments made in-house.
The Rover joins its Liquid and Larder umbrella cousins, including; The Gidley, Bistecca, Grandma’s Bar and The Whiskey Co-op. One of many Surry Hills favourites that are going under the knife post covid to see a breath of new life as we exit the grips of the global pandemic.
The last drinks at The Wild Rover will happen on Saturday 19th February, before the bar reopens as The Rover in mid-March 2022. We can’t wait to check it out.
Address: 75 Campbell St, Surry Hills NSW 2010
Hours: Tues-Sat 4 pm–12 am (current hours, likely set to change).
Phone: (02) 9280 2235
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