The Barber Shop

Voted Australia’s Best Gin Bar four years in a row, this sophisticated speakeasy boasts over 700 gins from across the globe.
Maxim Boon
Published on June 03, 2024


Speakeasies can sometimes lean too hard on their incognito theatrics, offering plenty of style with not much substance. This is far from the case at The Barber Shop, which ranks as one of the most convincingly hidden establishments in Sydney and yet also commands some serious authority when it comes to slinging gin. With an entrance on York Street disguised as, you guessed it, a barbershop, this secret drinking den has been crowned the nation's Best Gin Bar by Australian Bartender Magazine no less than four times in the 11 years since it opened.

There are more than 700 juniper delights crowding the back bar shelves of this gin palace, sourced from all over the world and including some rare and limited-edition drops. Purists can enjoy a straight-up gin flight of four half-serves or keep it simple with a pick from the gin tonica menu — a selection of botanical gins and fragrant garnishes topped off with tonic water.

Unsurprisingly, gin cocktails are a house specialty — you'll find four types of martini and ten cleverly crafted signatures — although unlisted classics can also be whipped up upon request. If you're unsure what to try, it pays to ask. The bar team have an encyclopaedic knowledge of mother's ruin and are eager to help guide you through the dauntingly expansive options.

A simple menu of classic bar eats is available should you get peckish, including charcuterie and cheese boards, pork and chorizo sausage rolls and house-made dips with fresh bread. If you're hungry for a bigger feed, the YCK Laneways precinct has plenty of nearby dining options to sate your appetite. But be sure to swing back this sultry gin joint's way after dinner for a nightcap martini or two.

Image credit: Cassandra Hannigan


Tap and select Add to Home Screen to access Concrete Playground easily next time. x