Food, darkness, hip-hop. They are the first things that will enter you mind as you head into Big Poppa's. This split level bar has an upstairs informal restaurant with interesting menu choices, but descend the stairs and the atmosphere darkens to a den that pays homage to hip hop stars, good cocktails and bare brick.
If you’ve bounced along Oxford Street late at night, you might recognise the old site for Hello Sailor. While the split level remains, it has made a drastic change in decor. While Hello Sailor seemed more like an area taken over by someone’s father after the grown-up children had moved out, Big Poppa’s looks like a place where those young grown-ups have taken over instead. On busy night, it is hectic and the dark lighting, brick walls and surrounding leather banquettes focus the energy to the centre of the room. On that note, watch out when trying to move around as the darkness can hide all sorts of objects beneath your feet – it would be a shame to waste your cocktail on the floor.
The cocktail menu stays fresh with the choices updated regularly. On some nights expect to see a theme based around a more exotic ingredient or spirit, while other times it might simply be a new take on an old favourite. Like the nutty twist on an the classic White Lady sees gin, chestnut , lemon juice, egg white and orgeat (sweet almond syrup and rosewater) shaken together until smooth and balanced.
There are two great aspects of Big Poppa’s that seem to go against the Sydney trend. Firstly it is open until 3am and secondly food is served until closing. Now you have a choice for late night eating and drinking that extends beyond dodgy takeaway and midnight closing times.
In brief: Big Poppa'sBest things: Fun environment and being allowed out until 3am, like a real adult. Don't miss:The constantly changing cocktail menu, or a late bite upstairs. Ideal for: Small groups, catch-ups with friends, after work drinks, dates Date tip: Big Poppas can get crowded and is better suited as a second destination on a date night when you want to ramp things up a little Gripes: Getting to the bar can be a challenge, especially on a busy night. The dark floors have plenty of hidden obstacles to negotiate Rating: 7/10
Last updated: November 2016
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