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Copyright Melway Publishing 2003.
Reproduced from Sydway Edition 9 with permission.
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The Clock recently opened a new bar downstairs where the pokie lounge formerly skulked, so we wandered round the corner from Pubguide Towers to check it out. It's not bad, a failry small, some would say 'intimate' setting with a tiny bar (a barman over 6 feet tall could probably end up quite bruised), some comfy seating with low tables and a moody color scheme.
We turned up very early, so it wasn't exactly buzzing, but the crowd was pretty indicative - young 20-something Surry Hills hipster types mostly. I was glad I'd made an effort and actually thought about what to wear.
Of course, lately we've been getting more and more into the Clock - blame laziness if you will, since pubguide HQ is just round the corner - which probably stems from a couple of god nights upstairs in the Toon Bar (as in 'cartoon'). Try as we might we haven't been able to get a balcony seat, but who cares when the atmosphere is so easy-going? The only complaint is it's bottled only upstairs (the New Lounge Bar fixes this of course. We're still very sore about our two-in-a-row bar food debacles in the main bar, and we still think the pool bar is too full of kids, but that makes 50% nay, 50% yea.
And is the opening of the Lounge Bar another sign of the coming pokie backlash? The Clock Hotel has now relegated its pokies to a tiny area off the main bar where before they took up a lot of very salubrious drinking space. The Fringe
has ditched theirs. Last time we checked with the Annadale, they were phasing theirs out - perhaps we might see the end of these neon flashing horrors? If not in my generation, at least my kids can be free of them! Revolution brothers!
So, in conclusion? We have to applaud the ownership for taking a brave but justified move in rationalising the pokies, and for doing a good job with the renovation. Our new recommendation is head for the Lounge Bar if it's open. Failing this, Toon Bar, and if you must go to the main bar, don't bother ordering food!
review by: Jason
Catch this place on a weekday and you could run through the bar naked and no-one would be there to notice (well, if that's what you're into, don't let me stop you) - however in the nights and at weekends it picks up to a brisk pace. Mostly the punters seem to be 'suits' - people with a bit of cash out to check out other people with cash. It's owned by the same folks as Pontoon Bar and the Greenwood
, so that's to be expected, I guess.
The main bar is a large rectangular affair with plenty of room. Clocks line the right hand wall, all set to different timezones, as if you didn't have enough trouble figuring out the time after a few beers! Out back is a pool room and upstairs the restaurant. The atmosphere isn't quite up there with the likes of the Hopetoun or the Orient, but it's friendly and chatty nonetheless.
review by: pubguide staff