Sydney's Best Small Bars


Surry Hills-Darlinghurst
The Flinders
65 Flinders Street, Surry Hills

The Flinders, Surry Hills

Yes itís back. After shuttering its doors for two years, The Flinders re-emerged at the very end of 2016 (and hopefully will be with us for its centenary in 2018). Due to its location in the lockout zone, the raucous 5am closing time sadly doesnít feature in its current reincarnation. The 3am close still gives you plenty of time to revisit this icon, but be aware there is no entry after 1:30am. You can expect bigger crowds around 12:30am as the nearby Beresford disgorges its drinkers before its 1am close.

The new Flinders is like seeing an old friend after a few years. Many things are still the same, yet it has changed too. Gone are all the dive bar decorations , the pickle neon sign, the concrete tubs used as wash-basins in the bathrooms, the DJ cage and the musty smells in the old ship room. Thankfully the DJ remains to face the crowd every Friday and Saturday without the benefit of a security grill while the bathrooms have been redone in black and white tiles. Not sporting any graffiti from its former trashy days, a bright aesthetic replaces the dingy red lights, so get ready for glaring shock if you wander in there during the late hours. The redesign has also taken away the bohemian vibe of the old ship room as it is now the new gateway to the toilets. Despite that, it is still a good people-watching space if you donít mind the occasion neon glare. The new owners are trying to make the bar more accessible throughout the day and evening, instead of its old end-of-the-night dive bar. It certainly has a brighter, open feel with outdoor seating and new dťcor.

The drinks menu is still good but basic. Plenty of beers on tap ($8), some wine and the usual assortment of mixed drinks including cocktails. Some nights see happy hour specials, particularly early on Thursday evenings with $6 beers and vodka mixed drinks. You can also get pizza which varies in price on some promotions night from free to $20 with specials in between (check the Faecbook page for the latest offers).

Opening soon will be the upstairs bar which, in the past, has been various incarnations of restaurants and places for people to lurk in dark corners.

In brief: The Flinders
Best things: The 3am weekend close (but 1:30 lockout). Reasonably priced drinks. DJs on weekends.
Don't miss:the chance to visit an iconinc venue in its newest incarnation
Ideal for: Small groups, catch-ups with friends, late-ish nights
Date tip: Early in the evenings, it is quiet and civilised with plenty of places to sit and get to know each other. If you are both getting a bit out of control later as the night progresses, The Flinders is the place to make your move Ė try the back room or back left area behind the bar.
Rating: 8/10

Last updated: August 2017
You are here: The Flinders, Surry Hills review and address. Yes itís back. After shuttering its doors for two years, The Flinders re-emerged at the very end of 2016 sporting a revamped look and 3am close.