Franks Wild Years
You'll find this record store, bar and live music venue in the coastal village of Thirroul.
In the quiet coastal village of Thirroul, just north of Wollongong, Frank's wild years are still going strong. Unlike the protagonist in Tom Waits' song, this Frank isn't a person, but a cocktail bar, record store and live music venue hidden just off Lawrence Hargrave Drive.
At Franks Wild Years, you can browse the shelves upon shelves of predominantly pre-loved vinyl, then grab a seat at the bar or in the courtyard and hoe into a toastie (pumpkin and fermented chilli or roasted capsicum and pineapple, both $12) and a cheese plate ($14–23) with house-made chutney and assorted pickles. To drink, you'll find tinnies; classic cocktails, such as pisco sours and margaritas; and natural wine from Villa d'Esta on the mid north coast.
If you time your visit right, you can make it there for happy hour from 6–7pm Wednesday–Friday when there are $5 beers and wines and $10 cocktails. Time your visit even better and you'll be able to sip cocktails while watching a live gig or trying your hand at a life drawing class.
The bar is quite small, however, and has a particularly tiny capacity with COVID-19 restrictions. So, keep an eye on the bar's Instagram page for gig announcements and ticket sales if you want to catch an event.
Images: Reuben Gibbes