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Maybe Sammy

An opulent 50s-inspired bar from the Maybe Frank team.
By Marissa Ciampi
February 16, 2019
By Marissa Ciampi
February 16, 2019

Maybe you've gone in for pizza and had a surprisingly great cocktail. Or maybe you've done it the other way around. Either way, one thing is for sure: Maybe Frank does great pizza and cocktails. And now, the team behind the Surry Hills' restaurant has expanded its offering with Maybe Sammy.

Owners Stefano Catino and Vince Lombardo launched their new Harrington Street digs back in January, sitting just opposite Neil Perry's Rosetta. The venue is fittingly named after another jazz era icon, Sammy Davis Jr. — if you hadn't guessed, Maybe Frank is named after Sinatra.

But this latest venture is all about the cocktails — something that Maybe Frank has gained quite a following for. The restaurant's leading barman Andrea Gualdi most recently won the Australian Bartender of the Year at the 2017 Diageo World Class Competition. He's a co-owner along with Catino and Lombardo, and leads the bar team at the new venue.

Gualdi's cocktails at Maybe Frank are theatrical — complete with rose petals, pop rocks and charred wood — and the drinks at Sammy are equally creative and entertaining. Named after the Rat Pack's favourite venues, the cocktail list features eight signature sips, including the Circus Circus, made with rye, vermouth, mint and poblano and presented with a magic trick; the vodka- and passionfruit-infused Lady Luck, which is, interestingly, served with house-made hand cream (to use, not drink); and the Thunderbird, made with jasmine kombucha, Aperol and a Czech herbal bitters called Becherovka.

Those watching their wallets will be happy to know that a lineup of 'minis' also features on the menu — a rotating list of classic tipples for only $10 a pop. If, on the other hand, you're feeling flush (lucky you), you may choose to indulge in one of the 'high roller' cocktails, which start at a cool $70 each and feature ingredients like Champagne and Hennessy. Coffee also features heavily on the menu, with a list of non-alcoholic caffeinated drinks and boozy ones, such as the Sammy Shakerato (with Ethiopian coffee, Campari and limoncello).

What the new menu doesn't feature is pizza. Replacing the Italian eats are snacks inspired by 1950s Hollywood glamour, complete with a fit-out that emulates a high-end hotel bar. Designed by Sydney's LD Studio, the space is opulent, with pink velvet banquettes, gold lamps, brass fittings, marble tiles and lots of indoor plants.

While Maybe Sammy has decided to close its doors on Sundays during winter, it has started opening them earlier on Thursdays and Fridays. From May 2019, the bar has started serving up bagels, salads and sandwiches for lunch on these two days, from 12–3pm. Get out of the office and treat yourself to a prosciutto and truffle butter croissant ($15) or a wagyu pastrami sandwich ($14) and a cheeky bloody mary ($18) or two.

In even better news for city workers, the bar has also launched a new $5 happy hour. From 4.30–5.30pm, Tuesday to Saturday, Maybe Sammy is shaking and stirring mini martinis, negronis and irish coffees for just $5 a pop.

Images: DS Oficina.

Updated May 29, 2019.

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