Baxter Inn

Sydney’s never been much of a secret city, we’re all nip & tuck, flash and show, social pages, champagne and technicolour; we leave the cobblestones and noir to Melbourne. If you really look though, you’ll see we can be a playful city too.


Taken by J. Pang

Located in by far the most secret location of them all, the only telltale sign of this new speakeasy is a trail of bright young things emerging from a fire escape in a dark driveway on an otherwise deserted Clarance street. Don’t worry it’s not a drug bust but some slightly inebriated customers leaving Baxter Inn: the newest child from the boys of the beloved Shady Pines Saloon. So if you’ve avoided Jason Scott and Anton Forte’s stellar initial effort because of a crippling doraphobia or peanut allergy then this new American sports bar should draw you back into the cool crowd.

We arrive late one evening and without having to wait (pretty chuffed especially having spotted a 1 hour queue at Shady Pines) down the rabbit hole we go and emerge in a lively underground Chicago sports bar. Candle and boxing memorabilia clutter the low underground space while a mixed crowd of suits and youths sip cocktails and whiskeys along to some old blues tunes.

Depending on who you ask these guys have either 150 or 300 whiskeys at hand, given I’ve probably tried about 4 in my lifetime both counts sound impressive to me. Inundated with choice (Whiskey cognescenti can choose their tipple based on region and age) I ask our bartender for his favourite and he pours us two single malts served neat over a block of hand chipped ice.

Glenmorangie Original 10 years $10 + Glenmorangie Nectar D’or 12 years $13

The original is incredibly floral and smooth and my drinking companion seems impressed. From the same distillery the Nectar D’or has been aged in hand picked French (Sauternes to be precise) casks and is quite sweet, this is definitely my preference although seasoned drinkers may find this too cloying.

If whiskeys aren’t you thing don’t fear, they’ve got a cocktail menu, beers on tap, wines and cognacs in the cellars and all the regular spirits at hand. Ask for your complimentary bowl of pretzels and I’ll wager you’ll lose a few good hours in this cosy hide away.

Who’d ever thought, we’d soon be out-Melbourning the Melbournians and I for one ain’t complainin’.

4

The Verdict
Easy going communal watering hole with fair priced tipples and the largest collection of whiskey at hand in the heart of the CBD. You hear that? It’s the silence of an office just emptied out. Join your friends there and play a little.

Baxter Inn
a. Basement, 152-156 Clarence St Sydney (walk down the driveway and turn right)
e. pretzels(at)thebaxterinn.com
w. www.thebaxterinn.com

The Baxter Inn on Urbanspoon

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10 comments
  1. This place seems very very cool – love that it’s so hidden (now to try and find it)!

    • Dee said:

      I love it, I went back yesterday and it was so lovely and chilled and quiet especially compared to Red Oak across the road. Good luck finding it! I was tempted to draw a diagram to post online but thought better of imposing my terrible drawing skills on you all hahaha

    • Dee said:

      Aw thanks Tina <3 Loved *your* pretzel & bar shot.

  2. minibites said:

    I love this post, great photos! I’ve heard that this place is quite the the whisky place.. gotta round up whisky lovers to go here!

    • Dee said:

      Try one whiskey or whisky a day, you’ll be set for the rest of the year ;)

    • Dee said:

      I love it! Want to make it my “regular” so I can turn up and ask the barstaff for “the usual”. Lucky for you there’s still 50 weeks left in the year :P

  3. Michelle said:

    How did you manage to take these shots, I was there last night and it was almost pitched black! Impressive!
    Ps. The beer is really good.

    • Dee said:

      Lol thanks dear…you went for the beer? ;)
      Yeah, I took the photos with GREAT difficulty.

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