The latest addition to Merivale's portfolio, Palmer & Co. is a gorgeous hiding place. Tucked into the underground level of what was once a throbbing, sticky nightclub in the heart of Sydney's CBD, the venue has been transformed beyond recognition into a glowing little cove that exudes the sumptuous glamour and devilish secrecy of the 1920s prohibition era.
Whilst perhaps not the most inspired of concepts, every detail of Palmer & Co. speaks of Merivale's signature polish, and the bar's clandestine feel echoes the theme of secrecy. Embraced by exposed brick walls, heavy timber surfaces and the intimacy of low, golden lighting, you are enveloped immediately by a sense of sophistication as your enter Palmer & Co. This is a bar for grown-ups.
You are invited by the staple Merivale beauties, in flapper dresses and all, to make your selection from the extensive menu of spirits and cocktails, embellished by photographs harking back to days of dapper criminals in three-piece suits and girls who could neck a bottle of bourbon and look graceful doing it. Palmer & Co. offers a small selection of bar snacks, including spicy chipolatas ($12) and charcuterie share boards ($18 for 2), but this is not really a dinner spot. I suggest you eat beforehand because, if you are anywhere near as susceptible to Palmer & Co.'s hypnotic sway as I was, it will be hours before you emerge again.