Sydney CBD, close to Wynyard Station. PROFILED BY DE GROOTS MEDIA
Café by day, laid-back drinking den by night, The Fox Hole is an unpretentious bar without a theme or ritzy décor, just good old fashioned hospitality. It’s the kind of place you could walk past every day on your way to work without ever noticing it was ever there, which is rather surprising as this heritage building stands proudly on the corner of Erskine and Kent Street with large glass bay windows overlooking the bustling city streets.
The upstairs is cosy with a handful of wooden tables while the basement is home to a speakeasy bar with exposed ceiling beams and brick parapets. Two settees are set up in the corner of the room, which are the most enviable seats to settle into for the evening. Owners Matt Comensoli and Tim ‘Nifty’ Neville bought the venue in its sandwich shop heydays when there was a low-key wine bar operating downstairs. They refurbished the venue and put the small bar license into full swing.
Staffed by passionate young guns that are friendly and well-informed, table service is a welcoming surprise. Although the wine list changes regularly, there are around 12 whites and 10 reds listed on the menu, majority of which are available by both the glass and bottle – including a 2009 St Johns Road Cabernet Sauvignon from the Barossa Valley, a 2012 David Hook Pinot Grigio as well as seasonal drops. The beers are constantly rotating, but Little Creatures is always on tap. Cocktails, however, are up for discussion. A set cocktail menu of crowd-pleasing classics is destined for summer; otherwise speak to James the bartender to make something up for your tastes. We hear he does a mean old fashion whisky blazer. The free bowls of corn chips and fresh tomato salsa make a tasty snack to accompany your tipple, otherwise the food menu is basic in comparison to the drinks. There are dumplings, a share plate of cheese, cold-cuts and other antipasti as well as two summery salads.
Whilst it pulls a solid corporate crowd, The Fox Hole is yet to become a ‘destination venue’ for Sydney’s socialites. But with Berlin-inspired session music nights set to take place in the near feature, this down-to-earth venture is bound to be the next Baxter of Kent. On the last Tuesday of every month, The Fox Hole also offers the space as a gallery with a new artist in residence every month taking over the venue to showcase their work.