Bayside locals, you’ve just been handed a gift from the summer gods—a classy 1920s Spritz bar, with a leafy gin garden out back.
Sparrows Cocktails & Wine opened on the quiet last September, but it’s already shaking up the Bay Rd strip. It’s the brainchild of hospitality pro, Daniel Macpherson, who spent 12 years working in bars all over the world before settling in Sandy with his own concept: a laid-back drinking den that honoured the classics...and was partial to a cheeky rosé.
The building itself is a bit of a tardis. From the outside it looks tiny, but push through the front door and you get a gorgeous 1919 heritage building, opening out to a sun-dappled courtyard, stacked with comfy chairs. You can squeeze 65 thirsty locals in here on a good night.
A lot of the old-school features have been maintained, like the pressed tin ceiling that runs the length of the bar, or the period fireplace, complete with squishy armchairs. There’s a Gatsby vibe to the décor. A dash of old-world 1920s glam. Which makes sense when you check out the drinks list.
Sparrows’ cocktail menu is built around boozy staples. Minty mojitos and tropical mai tais, Fuego martinis and a lemon-spiked whisky smash. There’s an extensive rosé selection too, plus G&T’s by the glass or carafe (try either the raspberry and mint or lemon, hibiscus and lavender). The back bar serves 20 different gins from all over the world, but really you should be heading straight for the Pinkster.
Macpherson’s concept is basically summer in a glass. The sort of stuff you can sip in the courtyard after a long day at Sandringham beach, nibbling on a cheeseboard or tucking into a pizza from Barbalu's, next door.
And beer lovers, don’t worry—you’re well looked after. Sparrows is slinging a Big Wave summer ale, pale from Fire Rock, and even a Fog City cider (our new favourite).
“Locals have really shaped our menu by ordering what they love,” says Macpherson. “As a result, we’re more focusing on Spritzes, gin and tonics and rosé for summer.”
Image credit: Jess Prince