What could be more wonderful than working at Sydney’s Mitchell Library then popping up to the roof for a drink….or two? 🍸🍹
The space was once used by library staff as a canteen and recreation area, but then just forgotten about. Apparently the young women are playing quoits.
There was also once a camera room up there, part of additional, innovative facilities introduced in 1942.
INTO THE 21st CENTURY
A new policy of making the State Library more user friendly has led to big changes. For example, historic paintings which once simply languished in the stacks are now displayed in galleries. There is also a dedicated childrens library.
But back to the bar. 🥂
Add a baby grand piano to the interior and the venue begins to sound pretty special.
Safely on the ground….well nearly.
The bar opened in December 2021, but what with Covid etc, it was mid February ’22 when my partner Rob and I finally managed a visit from the Blue Mountains. After what seemed like months of wet weather we were in Sydney to dry out and regain our equilibrium, especially as autumn leaves were appearing in our Blackheath garden!
The entrance is inauspicious to say the least; a doorway at the rear of the library in Hospital Road. But step from the lift and you are in for a treat.
Chief Librarian John Valance was sitting at the table next to us. Well he deserves to enjoy this space after all he has done for the Library in the past few years. I hear Premier Dom Perrottet was also a strong advocate for the bar when he was treasurer. I will have to cut him a bit of slack now. 😎 Oh yes, and initial opposition from the Labor Party has melted away.
The views are amazing. As well as the interesting angles of the library rooftops you can spot almost every Sydney icon; Centre Point Tower, Government House, and some of the city’s more interesting skyscrapers. From the far end of the top patio there are glimpses of the Harbour Bridge and the sails of the Opera House. The Art Gallery is there too, nestled among trees, and ferries chug past Fort Denison.
We ordered a snack to accompany our cocktails, a platter of smoked Aussie meats and ‘charcoal’ crackers.
Just as well we arrived soon after the opening time of 4.30 pm. On what was a gloriously sunny day it was soon packed out. It’s currently only open from Wednesday until Saturday, but hopefully this will be extended.
After a day of research, sipping a cocktail in the bar is the perfect way to wind down. And now that international travel has resumed it will be wonderful place to take visitors.
FOR MORE ON THE STATE LIBRARY, CLICK HERE.