4-14 Foster St, Surrey Hills, Sydney, New South Wales, 2010, Australia
Website: View bar's website
Hours: Mon-Sat 4pm to Midnight; Sun 2pm-10pm
Door: Open door
Style: Cocktail bar
Recommended for: Cocktails
Price guide: Middling
Food: Bar nibbles
Images By: diffordsguide.com
There is no real way to verify the authenticity of this 'Guatemalan Owl Bar', located on the city fringes, but that doesn't really matter. The apparent theme - ceramic owls, religious statues and fairy lights are scattered around the shack that encompasses the bar - goes along well with the overall ethos of this tequila-soaked borderline dive bar that mixes high-end drinks in a low-rent environment.
Overseen by two ex-Shady Pines Saloon tenders, Jeremy Blackmore (formerly of Edinburgh's The Bon Vivant and London's Callooh Callay) and Alex Dowd welcome you with freshly popped chilli popcorn - not just a complimentary snack, but a cheeky ruse to encourage you to drink salt-rimmed cans of Mexican lager. From here, you can graduate onto a well-executed Tommy's or a selection of cheaper cocktails designed to ease drinkers away from tired stalwart choices. The tequila choice shows some good depth with a good selection of hard-to-find spirits, well priced for connoisseurs, and the bartenders' knowledge holds well.