Woolloomoolo's The Old Growler has (sadly) closed its doors, and an 80s-themed dive bar has taken its place. Chachi's takes 1980s kitsch to a whole new level with a loud fit-out, neon cocktails and trite food menu names.
Like the 80s, the bar is home to some seriously bold patterns and a bright colour palette. Think vibrant painted tables, a Grace Jones mural and old-school arcade games. Behind the bar, it's got nostalgic wares like Polaroid cameras, Legos and Rubik's cubes, too. Even the drinks will match the colour scheme, with a neon blue Socom sour and seriously orange Hemmingway daiquiri joining modern favourites like negronis, espresso martinis and manhattans on the menu.
The pub grub is over-the-top in its own right, with burgers like the Kevin with Bacon (chicken with bacon and beetroot) and Molly Ringwald (beef with wasabi beetroot coleslaw on brioche), and the Balboa on White jaffle — that's canned spaghetti with cheese. Though we wouldn't pay $12 for it, it is definitely a throwback to our microwaved Heinz days. The cauliflower and mac 'n' cheese jaffles are accompanied by loaded fries and fried chicken plates, plus a baked potato with sour cream.
While the venue does sound like a bit of a gimmick to us — and we were big fans of The Growler — the Kings Cross location is well suited to a loud and proud dive bar. And Sydney could definitely do with a few more of those.
Chachi's is now open at 218 William Street, Woolloomooloo. It's open Wednesday through Saturday from 5.3opm to midnight. For more info, visit chachis.com.au.