Rooftop bar popularity is going up
SYDNEY'S watering holes are setting a new high bar, with the popularity of top venues growing and no ceiling in sight.
The City of Sydney has approved four new rooftop bars in the CBD over the past year, including the new Hamptons-inspired rooftop watering hole above the Shelbourne Hotel on Sussex St.
It joins a long list across the city, from the inner west's Websters Bar in Newtown across to East Village in Darlinghurst, The Ivy and The Bristol Arms in the CBD, Manly's The Ivanhoe Hotel and The Rocks' Glenmore Hotel and Hotel Palisade in Millers Point.
Restaurant and Catering Industry Association deputy chief executive Sally Neville said there had been a spike in the number of new venues.
"It's a contemporary trend whereby business operators are using what was once dead space to attract customers to a new style of entertainment," she said.
"People love the outdoors and wide open spaces.
"In Sydney, we've got such fantastic weather and there's many times of the year when it's perfect acceptable to sit outside and enjoy the day and night hours in the open air."
Under law, the number of people allowed on a rooftop bar depends on the entry and exit arrangements and also noise impacts.
Trading hours are often restricted.
However Australian Hotels Association liquor director John Green said pubs were prepared to take the plunge despite the hurdles.
"It's obviously a significant design alteration, so there's development approval processes, there's heritage listings, there's structural issues for venues considering it," he said.
"Some of the new venues can integrate it into their design. Older venues have their challenges, but they feel that taking on that challenge is worth the effort.
"People want to experience our climate, they want to experience the vibe of being outdoors but in a quality licenced premises.
"We think it's a great thing for Sydney and our economy - daytime and night-time. We're seeing a number of venues having a look at their building design and taking advantage of opportunities where they are.
"There's no better view of Sydney than up on the top of the Glenmore Hotel, and there's newer ones such as the Shelbourne Hotel and Hyde Park Hotel."
Eliza Dorner said she loved drinking at rooftop bars with her mates.
"It's nice to be in breezy places, it's great for summer," she said.
"(Rooftop bars) have gone crazy. There has been this new trend."