Charlie Parker's

The basement bar at Fred's with exposed sandstone, seasonal cocktails and killer bar snacks.
Shannon Connellan and Alec Jones
Published on November 28, 2016
Updated on March 19, 2024


If anyone knows the recipe for a highly talked-about hospitality venue, it's the Merivale crew. As always with the Hemmes empire's outposts, there's been a lot of buzz surrounding two of the group's east Sydney ventures — a hint? They're both open on Oxford Street.

Seasonally-focused restaurant Fred's and intimate basement bar Charlie Parker's are as ambitious, with some big guns at the helm and an exciting, produce-driven food philosophy at their core, but with a few years in the scene to show it, they have the skills to back it up.

Both venues were designed by Justin and Bettina Hemmes, Vince Alafaci and Caroline Chocker of ACME & Co. and styled by Amanda Talbot. Downstairs, Charlie Parker's cocktail bar is a warm den of exposed sandstone.

The subterranean bar team has crafted an innovative, produce-driven drinks list backed by an Alvarez-designed menu of clever bar snacks — think prawns with fennel salt and lemon or steak tartare with anchovy, capers, citrus and lavosh.

This is an underground bar, so the best views you're going to get are the cocktails. If you'd prefer to run the straight and narrow, crack open the wine and beer lists, if you're here for some real fun, let's talk cocktails. There's a chef's approach to this menu instead of a bartender's, with seasonal produce used across the board. Flavour comes first instead of personality. Be it the simpler fig leaf and sauterne (Hickson Road Dry Gin, extra virgin olive oil and salt) or the punchy orange mint and fermented pineapple (Havana 3yo and coconut), or even the wild berry wines on offer, there's a healthy shot of creativity in every single glass.

Updated March 2024


Appears in:

Sydney's Best Underground Bars for 2023


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