Now Open: Self-Serve Newtown Beer Joint Buddy's Just Opened in the Former Lentil As Anything Site
This bar puts the power in your hands with self-serve beer, wine and cocktails on King Street.
February 01, 2023
You read that headline correctly: Newtown has officially scored its first self-service bar. Taking over the site formerly occupied by Lentil As Anything, Buddy's brings a brand new bar concept to life that'll put your beer-pulling skills on display.
Located in the guts of King Street, the two-storey boozery is the brainchild of co-owners Jimmy Roe and Duncan McGeoch, who've kept the fit-out relatively simple with ample seating, polished brick, and a heap of natural light, as well as playful custom artwork by Newtown artist Paul Tooth. But the main event here is the beverage wall on each level which boasts a selection of 33 taps to pour from (soon to be upped to 45).
This considerable drinks lineup comes from a carefully curated selection of local craft beer, natural wine, house-made cocktails and non-alcoholic options, all of which are stored in kegs. And the storage choice is purposeful.
Roe and McGeoch are committed to reducing their environmental impact, ensuring that lowering waste and minimising the business's carbon footprint is top of mind and steers their business practices. Roe told Concrete Playground, "We want to offer an experience without the wastage that can be traditionally generated at hospitality venues," Roe says.
The pair also acknowledge the significance of being the first venue to open in the former home of a beloved, long-time Newtown institution. "We saw it as an opportunity to take over an incredible site and build a space that continues to create long lasting memories and a connection with the community," says Roe.
If you're wondering how exactly the self-serve system works (and how it isn't an RSA minefield), here's the general gist. You start by procuring a Buddy's venue card upon entrance and pre-load it with your desired amount to spend. From there, you head to the beverage wall where you grab a glass and select your booze of choice, the tap your card to activate the tap and pour to your heart's content. The system tracks volume limits and is responsible for card reactivation, so you'll be kept in check.
It's not all booze, though. If you're feeling peckish, Buddy's has partnered with the local crew from Rub-A-Dub seasoning and has a snack-heavy sharing menu on offer. You'll find a bunch of beer-friendly options like nachos, flatbread Italian pizzas and Rub-A-Dub's famous chicken ribs, alongside Aussie classics like fairy bread. And if you're catering to a larger group — or just up for an insane personal challenge — opt for the one-metre long bruschetta.
The top level of the venue is also exhibition-friendly and can be booked out for private functions, and DJs play tunes and bring vibe every Friday and Saturday.
Buddy's Newtown is open at 391 King Street, Wednesday to Friday from 4pm to 12am and on Saturday and Sunday from 2pm to 12am.
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