The Long Goodbye
1/83 Stanley Street, Darlinghurst NSW 2010
(02) 8957 7674
Oozing old-school charm and serving intricate cocktails created from house-made liqueurs, Darlinghurst’s newest bar, The Long Goodbye, is already turning heads.
It’s an old-school tradition to serve cocktails that have been made to suit the customer’s particular taste, and something that most bars don’t do anymore. But this practice is de rigueur at The Long Goodbye, where drinks are made to measure as if they were bespoke suits. The barman, mixologist and all-round great guy, Flynn McLennan, is designing drinks that are the perfect fit for his customers’ tastes.
And while he’s no mad scientist, Flynn is doing things with alcohol that effectively no other Sydney establishment is doing. An ultrasonic machine to blend flavour and booze? That’s just the start. There’s no menu – just his brain power and the devotion to his craft.
Flynn makes his own flavouring agents and base alcohols in order to suit the widest variety of tastes. The house specialty and Flynn’s favourite drink is the Gimlet. Incidentally, it’s the drink of choice for Phillip Marlowe, the central character from the 1973 film The Long Goodbye. The same gritty, Altman-esque vitality is on full display in Flynn’s take on this classic drink, with specially designed lime-infused syrup, mezcal, mint and gin. Flynn’s ingenuity has also produced an incredible chilli bitters with a recipe more secret than Angostura’s, as well as ‘Dante’s Sour’ – an absolute cracker of a cocktail, made using black sesame honey, lemon, ginger, rye whiskey and egg white.
Underlying the entire concept is a desire to provide customers with something different, a personal and memorable experience. “We’re trying to take city bars back to what they should be about – making the customer feel special, and serving up cocktails done really well,” said Flynn.
This means the ambient space has also been designed with the customer in mind. Evoking a dark and moody atmosphere, the venue features candelabras, antique artworks, cosy leather loungers, ornate chairs and a beautiful chaise lounge. In keeping with the 1950s theme, each menu is hand-typed on a vintage typewriter, which sits at the bar, and the glassware has been sourced from local antique markets and vintage stores.
Flynn is no stranger to the bar game, having worked in some of Sydney’s high-end bars. While plying his trade, he often found himself making uninventive cocktails for people who didn’t really care about what they drank. With The Long Goodbye, he’s found a place of his own, where his talents with a jigger, shaker and spoon can finally reach their maximum potential.
With live blues on Thursday nights, and decent charcuterie and cheese boards, The Long Goodbye is a great place for a pre-dinner cocktail, or a post-dinner nightcap. In fact, maybe there’s no need to eat at all. It’s a sheer delight just to drink there.
Words by David Edwards