“Jack on the rocks?”
“Yes thanks.” My friend El sharply looks at me then laughs.
Being a regular at a bar where the staff knows your name as well as your favourite drink is the closest an average person will get to feeling like a celebrity.
I have thrived on being a regular patron at Foxtrot in Crows Nest, Sydney for a year now.
I painfully came to embrace the beauty of the Crowie (Crows Nest Hotel) a year before that – after continual pressure from work mates – yet I had never noticed the wooden door in a large brick archway a hundred meters away, known by the locals as the Trot.
As you enter the shoe-box bar, dim lighting initially blinds you. Then you regain your sight and climb the five stairs that spiral up to the main bar area.
You are greeted by a small DJ set playing ska and reggae, wooden stools and an intricate wall mural. Two barmen – strutting beige chinos, white linen shirts and floral bow ties – hurl spirit bottles from one side of the bar to the other as they show off their artistry.
The bar boasts gold filigree, hanging wine glasses, a bottle-green lampshade and a large, hanging, tin-tip bucket that continually rattles.
Jameson and freshly juiced apple, Sailor Jerry’s and freshly juiced pear and the Amaretto Sour are my usual drinks, but for my mates the Passionista and the Pomegranate Sour – served in tall jam jars with pink or blue umbrellas and red and white candy-striped paper straws – are a must.
For beer lovers two taps are rotated on a regular basis – that is, if buying from the bottle doesn’t appeal. If you’re feeling peckish, pizzas and bar snacks of American influence, including sliders, tostadas, burgers and tacos, are served until closing.
I usually perch in the upstairs courtyard – reminiscent of Alice’s tea party in Wonderland. White garden tables and chairs, astro turf, a vertical garden and another enchanting mural set the scene as fresh air drifts in from a wide bay window overlooking Falcon Street.
For a warmer setting, the back lounge of the Foxtrot will remind you of your grandmother’s living room, of course in an avant-garde kind of way.
It’s dressed with vintage sofas, wooden lanterns, antique photo frames, sewing machine tables and a fire place that flames in the winter.
Like the dance, the Foxtrot is fast-paced, smooth and progressive.
So if you’re bored with your local and seeking a bar on the north side of the bridge, hit the right note by quick-stepping into the Foxtrot.
For more information visit their Facebook site at www.facebook.com/TheFoxtrotCrowsNest