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Now Open: Old Mates Place's Underground Cocktail and Taco-Slinging Pop-Up Ginny's Canoe Club

Jerk mushroom tacos, mussel tostadas and creative cocktails from RE's Evan Stroeve come together at this limited-time bar.
By Ben Hansen
November 10, 2022
By Ben Hansen
November 10, 2022

Ground-level drinks are so passé these days. While a majority of Sydney's bars remain firmly on the street level, Sydneysiders can't get enough of moving their catch-ups either up into the sky or down below the ground with the swath of fantastic rooftop and underground bars opening throughout the city. With new Clarence Street venue Ginny's Canoe Club, the Old Mate's Place team has seemingly cornered both markets, offering both sky-high and subterranean drinks at the same address.

Ginny's Canoe Club will just be around for a limited time in the former site of Spawn Point on Clarence Street, as the Old Mate's Place team prepares for the next reincarnation of this space. After experiencing delays on the big plans for the building's basement, the team has created a pop-up venue that brings the energy of Old Mate's downstairs, filling the space with accommodating staff and a playful assortment of knick knacks and antiques.

The menu is built around tacos, cocktails and wine. Chef Joey Astorga (ex-Cho Cho San and Smalls Deli) has helped pull together the selection of share plates, snacks and late-night eats. If you do arrive taco-ready, there are four flavours on offer — jerk mushroom, eggplant, squid and a fancy take on fish fingers. Accompanying the tacos are oysters with pineapple hot sauce, crab sandwiches, mussel tostadas, zucchini flower quesadillas and Albacore tuna with avocado and nori.

There's also an after-hours menu that's only available from 10pm — helping to combat Sydney's severe lack of late-night restaurants. Here you'll find highlights from the pre-10pm menu like the tostadas and quesadillas alongside oysters, chips with dip and olives.

The team has worked to pull together a refined wine list that compliments the food, and enlisted the help of RE's Evan Stroeve who's concocted an assortment of flavoursome cocktails.

And, as for the name, it's derived from Old Mate's Place crew member Corky's mum. Director and Owner Dre Walters tells Concrete Playground that "she is so hospitable and fun that we wanted to name it after her, and the canoe club didn't have as good a ring to it as when you put Ginny in front of it."

Ginny's Canoe Club is located at the basement level of 199 Clarence Street, Sydney. It's open 5pm–1am Wednesday–Sunday.

Images: Chris Pearce

Published on November 10, 2022 by Ben Hansen
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