Since I Left You

This art-filled courtyard bar, with a relaxed spirit and a drinks menu to match, is the perfect antidote to a stressful day in the office.
Maxim Boon
Published on May 31, 2024


Discreetly tucked away behind three heritage-listed buildings down a covered laneway just off Kent Street, sits a secluded courtyard oasis decorated with artworks, murals and strings of bistro lights, where one of the city's longest-operating small bars calls home. Let's get the obvious out of the way: yes, the bar is named after the song by The Avalanches. "I liked the opening lyrics," says owner Nick White. "Watch the steps, get a drink, have a good time..." They're words that certainly fit the easygoing energy of this welcoming watering hole.

Located in the heart of the Purple Flag-accredited YCK Laneways precinct, Since I Left You — SILY for short — is one of a clutch of secret bars, speakeasies and cocktail lounges in this corner of Sydney, offering the after-work crowd an alternative to the often packed and soulless CBD pubs.

Since opening in 2011, SILY has settled into a comfortable zone between offering a relaxed neighbourhood bar atmosphere — with a largely Australian-sourced wine, beer and cider list — alongside a more elevated cocktail menu featuring a streamlined yet creative collection of signature drinks. From the simple (such as SILY's take on hard lemonade) to the sublime (don't miss the Shirazzle Dazzle, a tart yet refreshing mingle of Four Pillars Bloody Shiraz gin, italicus bergamotto, lemon, apple and prosecco), there's something to suit every palate.

SILY takes a similarly crowd-pleasing tack with its dining options. Gourmet toasties have been a faithful fixture on the menu for more than a decade. There are now seven variations to choose from, although The OG — SILY's original toastie packed with smoked ham, cheddar and caramelised onions — remains the reigning favourite. There are also classic bar snacks like corn chips with guac, house-marinated olives, and baked camembert served with garlic crackers all vying to be your beverage's tasty sidekick.


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