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FOOD & DRINK

The Cumberland

This Manly cocktail bar is hidden behind a fridge — with 250 different whiskies, creative cocktails and melty raclette.
By Marissa Ciampi
October 02, 2019
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The Cumberland

This Manly cocktail bar is hidden behind a fridge — with 250 different whiskies, creative cocktails and melty raclette.
By Marissa Ciampi
October 02, 2019
  shares

Manly's very secretive new bar has opened its doors. Head through a 1920s-style fridge door and wind down a spiral staircase into the underground drinking den that is The Cumberland. It's set beneath Cove Deli, a very real, very functional bodega-style delicatessen that serves up meats and cheese until 1am — all while hiding a stylish bar below.

The new northern beaches spot comes from owner Matt Clifton, who is the manager director of MJC Group of Companies, which is also responsible for Manly's Donny's Bar and In Situ. He's signed on GM Pete Ehemann, too, who has worked at the likes of The Ivy and Coogee Pavilion. Ehemann designed the elaborate, botanical-focused cocktail menu together with creative consultant, bartender and fellow former Merivale employee Petr Dvoracek. The list is split into themes such as Foraged and Found, Pre-Temperance Movement Favourites and 19th-Century County Tipples.

Under these headings, expect to find classics like the sazerac and French 75, alongside specialties like the dandelion espresso martini, a cocktails that uses locally foraged fennel and a smoking whisky number. There's also the Camden — a vodka martini made with sheep's whey vodka that comes wrapped in real sheep's wool from Clifton's family farm.

Behind the bar, you'll also find over 250 whiskies from around the world lining the shelves. This serious spirit collection is accompanied by Australian natural wines and craft beers from both local and European makers.

For eats, Cove Deli offers antipasto boards packed with cheeses and cured meats, delivered downstairs via a vintage dumbwaiter. A second kitchen within the Cumberland serves up snacks such as melted raclette, Spanish meatballs, duck terrine and empanadas.

Surry Hills' AZB Creative is responsible for the fit-out of both upstairs and downstairs. In the 75-seat bar, expect ornate and vintage furnishings, upcycled timber and marble bench tops. A leather banquette also wraps around the space. Upstairs, Cove Deli features a white-washed teal facade, penny tiles and a 1920s meat slicer.

And both venues are open until midnight on weekends and 1am on weekends, so now you can get your deli and cocktail fix until late.

Images: Dan Gosse.

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