Toasting goodbye to it’s wilder days of foot-stomping shenanigans, The Wild Rover is undergoing an evolutionary refurbishment. The Surry Hills institution will be unveiled as a sophisticated new dining and drinking destination – The Rover – this March.
Bringing the bustling charm of old and the sophistication of a dapper New York cocktail bar, The Rover will retain its former good time Irish heritage with an added lick of polish and a chic wine bar feel – a perfect option for a bite and drink before dinner, or a cocktail post meal. With a new look, fresh name and sparkling new interiors, The Rover will also include an expanded dining offering, from the expertise of Executive Chef Pip Pratt, of Bistecca and The Gidley, to evolve the food menu to pair with The Rover’s already stellar beverage line-up.
Co-owner and operator of The Wild Rover, James Bradey says, “Surry Hills has changed a lot since opening ten years ago with plenty of quality offerings opening their doors. We wanted the bar to evolve with it, stepping up to become somewhere guests can enjoy both food and drink with equal merit whilst retaining its iconic friendly character and all-are-welcome charm”.
With a refined British tavern feel, Chef Pip Pratt has crafted a generous New England-inspired menu boasting everything that’s great to share. Serving up delectable dishes such as a buttery prawn roll and famous house-made lamb sausage rolls, the menu will also provide guests an extensive offering of Australia’s best freshly shucked oysters. A focal point in The Rover’s new back bar, the rotating supply will feature Clair de Lune oysters from Bateman Bay’s Moonlight Flat, alongside a rotating selection of other east coast estuaries, as well as creole-spiced, fried Pacific oysters from Coffin Bay.
But the real star of the show will be Pratt’s take on an English classic – an elevated fish finger sandwich, inspired by the Indian influences and spices of his childhood growing up in the United Kingdom.
Retaining its renowned whiskey influence, The Rover will also be shifting focus to a 50-strong punchy and dynamic wine list, highlighting some of the best organic and bio-dynamic wines curated by award-winning sommelier Kyle Poole, formerly of Orana Restaurant, Rockpool Bar & Grill and Woodcut. The seasonal cocktail menu will also be getting a revamp, expertly crafted by 2019 Australian Bartender of the Year Alex Gondzioulis to incorporate fresh and elevated twists on much-loved classics as well as whiskey highballs using sodas and ferments made in-house.
The Rover joins Liquid and Larder’s stellar line-up of iconic Sydney venues including; The Gidley, Bistecca, Grandma’s Bar and The Whiskey Co-op. It also forms part of an ongoing rejuvenation of the bustling Surry Hills precinct, with several venues using the lockdown to breathe new life and evolve their offerings to adapt to the community’s renewed demand for dining and drinking experiences.
The venue will close for refurbishment on Saturday 19th February and reopen as The Rover in mid March 2022.
Image credit: Dominic Loneragan