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FOOD & DRINK

Butchers Brew Bar

This 50-seat Dulwich Hill bar has local craft brews, a serious wine list and live tunes six nights a week.
By Marissa Ciampi
April 09, 2019
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Butchers Brew Bar

This 50-seat Dulwich Hill bar has local craft brews, a serious wine list and live tunes six nights a week.
By Marissa Ciampi
April 09, 2019
  shares

Dulwich Hill's nighttime has expanded once more, with the opening of Butchers Brew Bar. The newcomer brings jazz and funk to Marrickville Road, slinging local craft brews, a serious wine list and live tunes six nights a week.

It's an intimate, 50-seat venue owned by local and self-confessed live music junkie Caroline Buckingham, who's lived in the area for 20 years. It's housed in a former butchery (hence the name), and the 'retro-butcher' vibe has been maintained in the fit-out — the old butcher hooks have been repurposed into a ledge, and turquoise and gold tiles have been spruced up.

To increase the jazz lounge feels, velvet curtains and vintage red spotlights were added, brick walls have been exposed and local artist Fernando Mosca (who's résumé also boasts Marrickville's Lazybones) was commissioned to paint a mural of Aretha Franklin.

Music is the main offering here, with a focus on jazz and funk, but the genres aren't limited — other acts include surf rock bands, reggae hip-hop groups, New York jazz quintets and Brazilian musicians.

Bands take the stage every Tuesday through Sunday night, with Mondays reserved for stand-up comedy by Happy Endings Comedy Club. The entertainment cover charge ranges from $10–20 — with all profits going to the band — and sometimes includes the first drink.

At the bar, expect Sydney locals Young Henrys and Batch on tap ($10–12) and classic cocktails for $20, along with a compact, but carefully selected wine list ($9–15 by the glass). For hard booze, Marrickville's Poor Toms and Grose Vale's Karu Distillery are supplying the gin, while Sydney's Silver Moon Distillery is covering the vodka.

According to Buckingham, the drinks at a live music venue are as important as the acts — but not all Sydney venues pay equal attention to both. "I've noticed that there'll be a beautiful venue and great band on, but a very basic or horrible wine list," says Buckingham. "I think having a nice glass of wine in your hand turns a good evening into a great evening."

The drinks list may continue to grow, too, with Buckingham looking to get in bottled brews from Dulwich Hill's The Sausage Factory, which launched its own brewery Sausage Queen Brewing last year.

While the in-house food offering is limited to cheese platters ($10–20) — at the moment, there's a Tasmania smoked brie, Danish blue and cheddar on offer — delivery from nearby ethical Japanese restaurant Manmaru is also available. Down the line, Buckingham is hoping to partner with Middle Eastern pizzeria Fred's Oil and Oregano Lebanese Bakery, across the street.

Also to come is a mini art gallery, with local artists invited to hang and sell their work throughout the Butchers Brew space.

Images: Katje Ford. 

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