There's Something for Everyone at Clarence Street's New Basement Cocktail Bar Now and Then

Pét-nats and sage-infused spritzes meet shandys and sherry cobblers at the new subterranean spot from the Door Knock team.
Ben Hansen
Published on February 01, 2024

Finding a spot that appeals to everyone can be tough. Sometimes you're hankering for a pét-nat, but your evening's partner in crime would scoff at the lack of prosecco on the Love, Tilly Devine list. Well, if you're looking to be a little adventurous but you're hanging out with someone who, when asked "do you want an orange wine?", would respond with "I prefer a drop from Mudgee", look no further than Now and Then, Clarence Street's new bar that's serving up new-age drinks and tried-and-true throwbacks in equal proportions.

The underground CBD bar comes from Natalie Ng, the mind behind another intimate inner-city fave Door Knock, alongside co-owner Locky Peach. Ng calls her new venue "predominantly a cocktail bar without the wank", basing the offerings around a simple crowd-pleasing concept.

The drinks menu at Now and Then is split into two distinct sections. You guessed it: the 'Now' and the 'Then'.

On the modern side of the menu you'll find funkier wines — whether that be a skin contact or a chilled red — as well as more boundary-pushing cocktails, craft beers and Mango White Claws for all of the seltzer fans.

Over on the more traditional section, you'll discover seasonal sherry cobblers, caipiroskas, Coopers Sparkling Red Ale and a selection of more traditional vinos including sav blanc, pinot noir, rosé and Perrier-Jouët Brut by the glass.

"Some people love a buttery chardonnay or a big Barossa Valley shiraz, and some love natural, minimal sulphur/preservatives or orange wines. Here, the choice is broken down easily for you," says Peach.

Adding to the experience at Now and Then is a short and snappy list of bar snacks. The lobster and prawn vol-au-vent, the panko-crumbed ham hock croquette and the Moroccan lamb cigars will all hit the spot for anyone looking to treat themselves to a satisfying bite while enjoying the drinks.

Ng is even offering personally curated snack and cocktail pairings — ideal for afternoon catch-ups and Friday drinks. Kick off your night with the Manhattan United made with bread- and butter-washed whiskey, sweet vermouth and walnut, partnered with the hot ham hock croquette, served with mustard aioli, all for $30.

Rounding out the offerings here is the Now and Then commitment to bringing some fun back to its corner of Clarence Street. Each Friday and Saturday you'll find live music and DJ sets from 9pm–2am. To stay up to date with the venue's nightlife, just follow the bar on Instagram.

Now and Then is located at 222 Clarence Street, Sydney. For more information and to make a booking or browse the menu, head to the venue's website.

Published on February 01, 2024 by Ben Hansen
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