Recently renovated and under new ownership, Funky Bar has re-opened its doors to Newtown’s effervescent King Street crowd. The newly remodelled bar now focuses on more nocturnal comforts including relaxed live music, gourmet cuisine and quality cocktails. Open seven days from 11:00am to midnight, offering lunch and dinner daily and breakfast on weekends. Every week live music is scheduled from Tuesday night through to Saturday night.
The décor and atmosphere draws inspiration from the decadent baroque era and offers something unique to the area; a quality dining experience in the company of relaxed live music, topped off with legendary cocktails crafted by in-house mixologists. Function rooms are available for all occasions including birthdays, engagement parties, corporate events and Christmas parties.
These days there’s cocktail bars, wine bars, tapas bars, live music bars – you name it, there’s a bar that specialises in it. But there are very few bars that do it all. Funky Bar on Newtown’s main King Street drag puts all the rest to shame. It seems to not only tick every box, but do it in a way that will leave you with a spring in your step and a sway to the hip (and that’s not just the martini working its magic).
While a Tuesday ‘school’ night doesn’t have the usual let’s-dance-till-3am kind of vibe, it didn’t mean we weren’t up for a good time. Braving the gusty winds of a cold Sydney winter night, my friends and I almost fell into Funky Bar’s doorway. Feeling rather dishevelled, we were immediately greeted by a rather excitable waitress. Strutting over in a tight black mini dress, wearing a bowler’s hat – confidently extending her petite hand, she flashes a cheeky grin, and we are welcomed to Funky Bar. Her energy is contagious and it sets the mood for the night ahead.
There is a fun vibe about the place. The crowd isn’t as alternatively bent as most other bars in Newtown and the space seems to cater for different occasions – there is a back section with ruby red leather stools and couches for a more casual beer and tapas scenario while the front end of the bar is more focused on providing an intimate dining experience. Our lively waitress flitters between both sections of the bar and like an actress on stage, she changes characters – from conservatively filling water glasses and politely arranging the cutlery for the older patrons dining to dancing and laughing with the cocktail crowd in the back area lounge. She plays each part to a tee, pleasing everyone.
But while the cocktails do certainly run down our throats like liquid gold – the rose martini is particularly memorable – but it is the food that we’re here for. Our first dish arrives with steam rising off the plate – grilled prawns marinated in garlic, coriander and chilli, doused in a sweet sauce. There are chunks of fresh chilli which cut through the sweet, molasses-like sauce and each mouthful leaves you wanting more. Unlike most tapas, the serve is generous, allowing us to slow down and appreciate the cocktails that seem to evaporate from our glasses. Instead of being overwhelmed with all our dishes at once, the lamb backstrap skewers arrive with perfect timing. They are pink and moist – just as lamb should be and the “chimmi churri sauce” compliments the strong flavour of the lamb. I must make note that while the chimmi churri sauce isn’t exactly the textbook Argentinean garlic and parsley sauce that it’s meant to be – in fact, it is more a sweet tomato salsa – we’re not complaining, it tastes delicious.