Save our Sydney Bar Scene – Get Involved

Madame Fling FlongWhat better way to start a food blog than to write about… well, bars. I’m sitting here at my desk listening to some classic Bill Withers soul and thinking about how good it would be to sit back in a moody-lit, alleyway pub where I can actually chill and relax while enjoying a good bit of tipple, some well-crafted bar snacks and great, ecclectic music. Well, they’re a rarity here, but there is one place I’m crazy about at the moment, and that’s Madame Fling Flong in Newtown. It’s got cool retro couches, a relaxed local vibe, great cocktails, classic movies on Tuesday nights and the best churros and chocolate in town (as far as I’ve seen). And you don’t even know it’s on King Street until you enter the questionable restaurant and head upstairs towards what looks like a one-way trip to the loo.

Now don’t tell all your friends or we’ll all be crammed into a single joint, breathing each other’s armpits. Instead. we need more places like it, so make sure to tell your local politician that you’re gonna be extremely peeved if Labor and the Liberals kill Clover Moore’s plans to loosen the licensing laws – only because the big hotel pubs can bribe them with wheelbarrow-loads of revenue from the pokies and bribes from the the liquor lords to stock their mediocre, mass-produced swill.

Of course, if you’re more of an armchair activist, you can get on Facebook and join the We want funky little pubs in Sydney group or the Sydney Hole in the Wall (Bar) Appreciation Society. That’ll at least give us a common place to gripe.

And I have to admit that I’ve thought of more extreme measures, especially the idea of boycotting all hotels that have pokies in them and are members of the new Dark Side, aka the Australian Hotels Association. But of course, that could be the end of my social life in Sydney, and there’s only so many times you can go to Tatler.

With that in mind, I’m going to finally leave the office, at a very wrong 9.30pm, and go to the one place I know I can always get a great wine by the glass, hear good eclectic (if sometimes questionable) music and be able to chill in an old couch and have a decent conversation, without a pokie in sight. I’m going home.


6 responses to this post.

  1. Hey Guys,

    We had our second annual Bar Awards last night with accolades such as Best New Bar, Bartender of the Year and People’s Choice. Winners, finalists and runners-up can be found online and in our 116-page book that comes free with our December issue. More info on the night can be found at

    We’d love to know what you think!

    Kindest regards,

    Rachel Rodrigues


  2. Posted by Auntie E on October 5, 2007 at 2:27 am

    I am so proud of you. Great job and love the photos, yummy.


    Heard about it? If not check it out and join the campain to lower liquor licence fees in NSW. WANNA FREQUENT MORE SMALL BARS WITHOUT POKIES, TVS AND DEEP FRIED FOODS? I do.


  4. Posted by Deb on August 31, 2007 at 9:59 am

    Oooh I approve of this blog entirely. I have been very slack with my blog of late (too swamped with work etc) but will have to correct that very soon.

    I have yet to check out Madame Flongs properly. Two attempts have failed due to it being over-packed (so stop writing about it damn you!). But hey, I’d love to check out the classic movies on Tuesdays. Want to go next week?



  5. Yo Shaf,

    Nice work on the blog, bout time someone started qveching about the Sydney bar scene.

    FYI there is no pokies at one of your other Sydney haunts Bentley Restaurant and Bar. Thanks to Nick Hildebrandt the wine guy with the mostest you are always guaranteed a quality glass.

    Keep up the work Dave


  6. Talking to yourself were ya? Great start Michael looking forward to the finished product. Now lets see if comments work.


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