Pocket Bar is one of the first of many edgy, bustling bars popping up as a result of Sydneyås new liquor licence laws. Once the politicians finally caught on to the idea that small bars are the way of the future, hundreds of Sydney entrepreneurs stood ready to bring some of that Melbourne cool up north. Mates, Christophe Lehoux and Karl Schlothauer, were two of them.
Christophe had just arrived in Sydney from London where he’d been running cocktail bars for years, while Karl had a background in fashion. Working together in a bar at Kings Cross when the new laws were passed, they quickly spotted the gap in the market and decided to be the ones to fill it.
“After falling into work at the nightclub, I found that this industry is full of challenges and offers different experiences every day,” Karl said. “As time went on, both Christophe and I dreamt about what we would do if we had our own bar, and as luck had it we were presented with that opportunity and grabbed it with both hands. After a year of jumping through hoops Pocket Bar was born.”
But unlike the competitors who’ve come and gone since, Pocket Bar is still attracting Sydney’s hip young crowd, to the point where the venue, which is the size of, well, a pocket, is often filled to the brim by 9pm on weekends. Delicious cocktails, plush vintage sofas and graffiti murals create the perfect blend of sophisticated and cosy. “We wanted to create a place where people can feel like they’re at a friend’s house or having their own house party. Somewhere to relax and enjoy good food and drinks,” said Karl.
Starting out with modest, albeit tasty, selection of crepes, the guys at Pocket Bar have jumped on the street food bandwagon, serving up a great selection of treats. Designed by Head Chef, David Croft, the menu now features comforting treats like gyros, chicken jerky and the mouth-watering vegan steamed bun with bourbon tempeh.
Those preferring a battered treat with their negroni won’t be disappointed by the sweet crepes that are still on offer. White cheese and guava paste crepe is just as delicious as it sounds.
Despite the impressive food stuffs, Pocket Bar’s draw card is still their drinks menu, and rightfully so. Names like Corpse Reviver, Awkward 1st Date and Take Your Clothes Off, makes it just about impossible to stay away from the cocktail list. If you’re on a budget there are plenty of affordable wine and beer options as well.
In the time since Pocket Bar saw the light of day, Karl and Christophe have opened two more venues in Sydney (Stitch and Button), one Pocket in Terrigal on the Central Coast, and a sister venue in Paris. But the time when one needed to leave Sydney to experience that edgy hole-in-the-wall type bar is well and truly passed.
“Sydney has come a long way in the last six years and has finally reached a point where it has become a place with great nightlife,” said Karl.