Sitting and sipping in Sydney's best small bars every Monday. Check here for regular reviews.
Have you ever thought about how you wanted to die? You know, really old in bed surrounded by all your family, saving a bus full of school children, or maybe in the throes Genghis Khan style? Well I walked into Mojo Record Bar and the first thing I thought was ‘Hot damn, if I get shot here when I’m 65, a glass of bourbon in my hand, I’d die happy’.
This bar is one class act. That is, it’s a class act if you mean somewhere you can drink beer out of a brown paper bag and have rowdy conversations about whether classic or punk rock is better. Beware if you’re on a budget – not only is it hard once you get here to not embrace the rock n roll feel and order that third (cough sixth) beer, but you also have to meander past the record store to get there. Yep, Mojo Record Bar is conveniently located out back of Mojo Records at basement level, so let’s hope you have tighter purse strings than I.
The bar is decked out with posters of bands from Bowie to Sonic Youth, and there’s a combination of tall tables, booths and a long bar that makes you want to channel your inner cowboy and grunt ‘another’ to the bartender. It’s all wood and red leather at Mojo, and real candles litter the tables in an appropriately haphazard way. The seating style, the dark lighting and the constant stream of classic tracks from The Beatles to The Clash to Credence really foster a sense of camaraderie that makes you want to order another beer and talk shit with your mates.
As for the beer, there is a fairly extensive list all of which are Australian, and most of which you’re likely not to have heard of before. Prices are on the more expensive side although not unreasonable, but the bartenders know what they’re on about so you can be certain you’ll like what you buy. The wine list isn’t that huge but they’re all tasty and all Australian as well, which is the type of patriotism I can get behind. Cocktails there are, a delicious but small selection, and if you’re lucky they might even produce some vintage tequila.
As for the downsides, there are only two that I can think of. First it closes at 12. Which isn’t something I so much hold them responsible for as much as thank them – thank them for making me leave before I glue myself to a bar stool there for the rest of my life. The second downside; there’s no food. We were lucky to end up with a bowl of toobs on our table but there’s no guarantee you’ll be so lucky.
As you can see, I’m a little bit of a fan of Mojo. If it were a band, I’d be one of those creepy groupies sleeping under the tour bus and looking through their trash. I’m pretty sure if you could see inside my head, it would look exactly like this place. Even down to the Persian rug. I’m not just being biased though in declaring my love for this place. My drunken friends assured me it really was awesome. That’s the type of voice of reason you know you can count on, so trust me when I say this place is worth a visit. You’ll walk out high fiving security, arms around your mates’ shoulders, and a tune in your head. This place gets a whiskey-drenched 55 inches of vinyl glory.
Mojo Record Bar
73 York St