Walking down Foveaux St, Button Bar offers a warm refuge from the recently treacherous Sydney winter. The entrance is only given away by a solitary bouncer and provides no indication of the warm ambiance that spills over you once you step into the bar. Inside, the walls and ceiling are fixed with ornate wooden panels and the low hanging lighting gives off a candle-like hue. Looking around your eyes are drawn to various artifacts and you’re subtly confronted with the feeling you’ve walked into the hull of a ship. This theme blends smoothly with vintage glassware and panelled leather booths to give a solid concoction of pirate meets tavern with some 1920’s style.
We begin at the bar and are met by a friendly and knowledgeable barman. The wine and beer lists he supplies could provide an option for almost everyone however we’re looking for something stronger. We give him the guidelines; one rum and one gin based drink and request two of his best. The bartender serves up a Jimmy’s Hendrix ($17) and Zacapa Old Fashioned ($16). The cocktails hit the spot with the Jimmy’s Hendrix a refreshing but dainty blend of gin, cucumber, rose water and lemon juice and the Old Fashioned has a little more grunt with a hint of apple, cinnamon and orange zest. The drinks were accompanied by a bowl of complimentary pistachio nuts (big +1) and some ice water. If free nuts won’t satiate your hunger then Button offers a cheese plate or a salumi option to help tide you over.
The bar stools are comfortable and easy to hold a conversation from but as some more friends arrive we move into one of the booths. These are dimly lit and warm, with enough room to seat 6 comfortably.
It is worth noting that Button Bar is the newest offering from the duo that provided us with gems Pocket Bar and Stitch and it seems that they have sewn another winner into the Sydney small bar scene. Whether it’s a chilly night or a sweaty summer’s evening Button scores 4/5 as a fresh spot with great character perfect for smaller groups and intimate drinks.