What was Docks' finest marketing moment has sadly turned into a marketing anachronism. Months after the end of Rugby World Cup 2003, the staff are still wearing 'Channel 7 Rugby Clubhouse' polo shorts and the walls are still sporadically (or completely in the case of the north side windows) splattered with the remnants of international competition, flags, sporting shots and Channel-7-style ident imagery.
Of course, they've had the decency to take down the actual Rugby Clubhouse signage, but the less blatant reminders remain. A bar hanging onto a moment of exposure for lack of anything else to say.
I'm actually fairly disappointed to say that I preferred this place as the unbearably cheesy Ettamogah Bar. Sure, it was 100% tourist trap, but at least it was different. Docks as-now little more than a clone bar with a fixation on the RWC. Of course, it's not the only one. Wallaby Bar is essentially an RWC cash-in, but at least it claims a theme. Docks, as far as I can make out, has none. It's a clone of any other modern Sydney bar - similar in decor, to name a couple of nearby rivals, Watershed and Pontoon, with some flags tacked on as an afterthought. No points are redeemed for the case of "it's in darling harbour, and HAS to be that way because it's what the clientele wants". Nope, the clientele doesn't give a monkey's what it looks like - neutral decor in this case is just inbetweenism.
Here at SydneyPubGuide we like pubs with character, with locals and with features, any features, that make them stand out. Docks doesn't stand out and is clinging tightly to its only standout feature for grim death. It's a shame that standout feature expired with the end of RWC2003.
review by: Jason