There's no place like home. Except Grandma's. Grandma gives you a big hug, sits you down in her best, chintz-covered chair and gives you a treat. And the eponymously titled bar, the latest addition to an innocuous little office building off Clarence Street, will do all that and more. Grandma's, the self-described "retro-sexual haven of cosmopolitan kitsch and faded granny glamour," is truly one of the most delightful bars that Sydney can now call it's own.
Muddling about on the footpath outside trying to find the damn place, a heavy-set giant of a security guard approached me and gruffly asked "hey, you looking for Grandma's?" and then burst into giggles. And you know you're in for a good night when you're giving a giggling security guard a hug. Inside you'll find knitting baskets, ottomans, and ubiquitous teacups and saucers. The place is small and can get loud, but the relaxed atmosphere and lovely people make it somewhere you want to stick around. A word of warning, though — get there early. We only left when a friend called from outside, telling us there was a line outside because the place had reached capacity.
But the real reason you come is for the drinking. The "grandchildren" are a helpful and friendly lot, and shake their cocktails with wide-eyed glee. Start off with one of Grandma's favourite tipples — the Pink Pepper Martini, a mix of strawberries and a wink of gin, was truly delightful. But the drinks list is seemingly endless, with ingredients including Greek yoghurt, chocolate bitters and elderflower cordial. Then there are the Tiki drinks, the kind of cocktails you see suave folk drinking in movies from the '60s with little umbrellas. The Ultimate Mai Tai is apparently splendid. Alternatively, treat yourself to a rum runner, served in a souvenir tin mug, which a friend of mine enjoyed so much he seriously considered making a souvenir of it himself by hiding it in his girlfriend's bag. And there's always the special secret punch, which is what everyone really loves the most. And while the beer and wine list is good and decently priced, if you come to Grandma's you deserve to be spoilt.