There are nearly as many legends surrounding the building that houses The Argyle in the historical Rocks precinct as there are beers on tap.
General Manager, Jeremy Glasson, sets the record straight telling us it was in fact associated with the extension of Sydney’s first Hospital for some of its earliest settlers. Later the courtyard became the focus for commercial activity, selling goods such as barrels of brandy, rum, port, butter, tea and cheese.
Finally in 1969, the courtyard and north wing building was established to accommodate the Argyle Arts Centre, providing residence to artists with a place to work and sell their wares. It is even said that Indigenous Australian actor and television presenter, Ernie Dingo, once used to busk out front before he found fame and fortune. Despite all this rich history, The Argyle – a popular eatery by day and live music venue by night – has a decidedly modern touch.
There are no fewer than five unique spaces split across five levels, ensuring that whatever your mood, there is bound to be a pocket of the establishment that matches it. There is also a rather lovely cobbled central courtyard which is brilliant for enjoying a cold glass of pinot gris on a sunny Sydney day, or gulping in breaths of fresh night air between dance hits in the evening.
The crowd at The Argyle is an eclectic mix of corporates, tourists, foodies, and pleasure-seekers with a menu that, not unlike the space inside, caters for everyone. The Argyle Canteen offers a mixture of modern bistro and pub favourites, where you’ll find the likes of the wagyu burger, fish and (hand-cut) chips, and pulled pork sandwich, as well as Italian inspired fare such as calamari fritti, arancini and insalata caprese which round out the menu. The food is simple and delicious, proving that it doesn’t have to be fine dining to be excellent.
The newest addition to the Argyle Canteen, is the authentic Napoli style pizza station, manned by a pizza artisan using only the freshest ingredients including buffalo mozzarella, tomatoes and flour, sourced direct from Naples. The pizza has become so popular that The Argyle recently started offering it as a take away option to its late night guests.
Group Culinary Director, Martin Heierling, grew up in a small town in Germany and discovered cooking as a teenager as a way to travel and see the world. With time spent in New York, Las Vegas, New Zealand and Philadelphia he has gained a wealth of worldliness along with numerous awards. From cooking for luminaries aboard one of the world’s largest privately owned yachts, to launching two unique restaurants in an enviro-friendly Las Vegas hotel, Martin’s experience brings a truly international culinary perspective to the Argyle and the Urban Purveyor Group.
In the future he plans to introduce new features such as substantial canapés paired with signature cocktails, but what is really important to him is “creating a menu that is accessible and approachable and thereby offering simple food, done with integrity and executed by people who care about what they do”.
The Argyle also hosts events for nearly every holiday on the calendar, with drink and food specials and live music for Anzac Day, Halloween and even Chinese New Year, to name a few.