UpTown Is the New Sydney Precinct That's Been Established Behind Circular Quay to Help Revitalise CBD Life

The part of town in the CBD's north now has a new name as part of a $38-billion renewal, which is transforming the area into a thriving cultural hub.
Nishika Sharma
Published on April 16, 2024

If you've been searching for new ways to explore Sydney but have come up short, the launch of UpTown is here to help. Thanks to the New South Wales Government's plan to encourage locals to uncover the best of the CBD's north, this new precinct is being positioned as the city's latest hotspot for nightlife, dining, celebrating the city's history and everything in-between.

Located behind Circular Quay — spanning from Bridge Street to the harbourfront and Macquarie Street to George Street — this newly named district is an initiative supported by the Office of the 24-Hour Economy Commissioner's Uptown Program. The scheme aims to breathe new life into the northern district of the CBD, making it a must-visit spot for Sydneysiders and tourists alike.

Laura Southcombe, Justin Newton & Michael Rodrigues, the crew leading the UpTown project.

"UpTown Sydney CBD comprises some of Australia's oldest streets and buildings, as well as incredible new developments like Sydney Place and the award-winning Quay Quarter Tower," said Laura Southcombe, UpTown Sydney's District Coordinator.

The project also wants to redefine the northern area of the CBD as a cultural hub and bring visibility to its diversity, rather than retaining its current reputation as Sydney's go-to for corporate life. Wondering what's on offer? UpTown Sydney CBD's website serves as a reference point for the district's venues and upcoming events.

Currently, the outlined district comprises an array of varying venues, from the lavish likes Besuto, Lana and Intercontinental Sydney's luxe rooftop bar Aster, plus casual diners in Quay Quarter such as Belles Hot Chicken, to art-centred institutions like the Museum of Contemporary Art — and also local watering holes like Jacksons on George, Double Deuce Lounge and Maybe Sammy.

"This juxtaposition of old and new is only one element why this energetic district should be front and centre in locals' minds when deciding not just where to eat and drink, but where to visit museums and catch live music," continued Southcombe.

To launch UpTown Sydney, the NSW Government contributed a $200,000 grant back via the Uptown Program, which was established in 2022, to assist with getting the initiative off the ground. Not only is the program set to encourage local businesses to promote the best the area has to offer, but it also hopes to help transform Sydney's nightlife.

"With both our website, which is a great resource for those looking for a night out or planning how to spend a few hours in the city, and our local community of businesses and cultural institutions coming together as one recognisable district, we're hoping to  reinvigorate this part of the CBD, and help Sydneysiders reimagine it beyond its corporate and 'touristy' reputation," said Justin Newton, President of UpTown Sydney CBD and Director of House Made Hospitality.

For more information about UpTown, head to the precinct's website

Images: Steve Woodburn, Tom Ferguson, Leigh Griffith and James Horan. 

Published on April 16, 2024 by Nishika Sharma
Tap and select Add to Home Screen to access Concrete Playground easily next time. x