Shady Pines Saloon
This is one of the ultimate gritty dive bars in Sydney. Owners Anton Forte and Jason Scott originally wanted to call this basement bar The Swillhouse but the conservatives at Sydney City Council weren’t impressed. It didn’t matter in the end, because they settled on naming the bar Shady Pines Saloon and the place has become a favourite haunt for trendy twenty- and thirty-something fashion denizens. The theme is bull buckin’ wild west, with bowls of unshelled peanuts, wooden barrels, carved Indian chief statues and ‘Wanted Dead or Alive’ posters. The affable twang of country and western music plays in the background while punters slouch over the long wooden bar – the only thing missing is swinging saloon doors. This isn’t the place to order a low-carb beer or a pre-mixed bottle – barmen serve up hard liquor, with kick-arse mint juleps and whisky sours, premium spirits like High West American whisky, and tinnies and craft beers like Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Giddy up!