The Foxtrot Inn

28 Falcon Street, Crows Nest, Sydney
Tuesday -Thursday 5pm – late
Friday & Saturday 4pm – 3am

It’s as if a gothic hipster with a guilty pleasure for jungle safaris got lost one afternoon in Crows Nest and stumbled upon the old Foxtrot Inn with a drastic new business plan.

The refurbished Foxtrot Inn is a 10-minute walk from St Leonards station, effortlessly tucked away on Falcon Street. The only distinguishing features on the outside are a small wall sign and a gothic-style double doorway. Alice gets a rabbit hole and we get a mysterious door? How quaint.

There’s a nice contrast between the busy street on the outside and the dimly lit interior. A small circular library filled with old-school hardcovers adds an odd welcome and a pleasing buffer between it and the bar beyond. Step up the cute stairway and find yourself in 1899 – especially if you arrive on a quiet afternoon and not on the weekend when a DJ is on. The room is teeming with the nostalgia of yore, with a well-bruised fireplace, cosy furniture and darkened brick walls. On your left is a bar, rustic and effective, blending smoothly with the world it inhabits while featuring the Foxtrot mascot called Foxy. And if you turn around you’ll see a stairway to heaven.

The attic, something I instinctively want to call the Oasis Room, is rich with effervescent colours of utopia and bottles of Perrier-Jouët. The carpet is faux grass and the feature wall with the flower mirror screams Northern European. It’s a vibrant attic in the afternoon sun, which transforms into a candlelight paradise in the evening.

Now that you’re all settled, would you like a drink?

I’m a sucker for sweet, which is why my favourite would have to be The O.T.T. It’s punchy and strong; a tropical concoction of pineapple, lemon and Peruvian pisco, then topped with Underberg (digestif bitters). A tangier cocktail is the Cognac and Cumquat Cobbler, a bespoke mix of cognac, brandied winter cumquats, dry sherry, mint and lime. And if mother’s ruin is your thing, then may I recommend the Lovers Orchard, with Never Never juniper gin, Regal Rogue rose vermouth, lemon, white nectarine and quince. The cocktail range itself is unique, laden with reinventions on bar classics. The beer taps are seasonal and the bottles in the fridge emote much the same style as the interior decor, with a few that could fit better upstairs or down.

On the dégustation side of things, you’ll find a selection of pizza, and some very eccentric bar bites. How about some truffle and mushroom arancini or a truffle calamari fritti? Maybe a croquette or meatballs? The arancini itself is special since you’re more likely to see it at a fancy cocktail party than at a bar. It’s fair to say that I was a little stoked, and they lived up to the expectation. But, the one thing I love and admire is their cheese and cured meats selection, which you get to pick and choose from. How nonchalant! You can aim for a cheese board, charcuterie board or a fancy mixture of both.

All in all, there is something rather special about this hideaway place in Crows Nest. It’s a necessary escape from the hustle and bustle of the busy city for after work drinks, while the weekend brings along a boisterous crowd. But whether you arrive for a relaxing arvo session or a groovy weekend evening, the vibe itself never changes. Cruise along, Foxy!