In August 2020, this iconic Surry Hills boozer was added to the Applejack hospitality portfolio—the same group responsible for brilliant Sydney restaurants and bars like The Botanist, The Butler, SoCal, Bopp & Tone, and Endeavour Tap Rooms.
Applejack has given the pub's interiors a welcome refresh, added a spritz menu, and a bottomless rosé lunch—but die-hard fans needn't worry too much, the public bar at the Forrie is the spot you can park yourself for the big footy matches and watch sport live and loud.
As for what to expect from the reno, the venue is now divided into three sections, a public bar and saloon, Phylli’s restaurant, and upstairs.
Phylli’s, only separated by retractable bi-fold doors, is an entirely new setting for dining and downing a few cocktails. A large open street-facing window, skylights, hanging plants, a pastel colour palette mixed with some funky patterned upholstery and floor tiling, and a stand-out mural painted by Sydney-based artist Mielo, all help create an open and naturally-lit bistro space you’ll likely spend an entire Saturday with rosé in hand. As it just so happens, for $79 per person, every Saturday and Sunday from 12pm and 3pm, Phylli’s will be doing bottomless rosé lunch, with a shared banquet and a rosé spritz on arrival.
The upstairs space, which once housed Caribbean restaurant Queenies, is home to all things entertainment. The first floor features both a separate bar and dining space, kitted out with comfy booths for a quiet place to catch up, and as your new weekly spot for trivia nights and comedy evenings.
Menus draw influence from Latin flavours fused with North American influences. Alongside the usual classics, dishes like fried southern crab cakes, beef cheek empanadas, Õra king salmon tiradito (a Peruvian raw fish dish), crumbed fish sandwich, and a Cuban sandwich all present a fresh take on the classic pub menu.
If you’re in the mood to share, there’s even a “barbacoa” slow-cooked lamb shoulder for two people. And as a nod to the old weekly cheap-eats crowd favourite, they’re also bringing back the $10 steak every Monday—yes, please.
With over 50 carefully selected Australian wines and an impressive spirit collection, the new Forrester's isn’t your typical pub drinks offering. Every single bottle, along with some craft beer six-packs, can also be purchased for takeaway.
Cocktails could become your favourite reason to pop your head back in, with a mix of classic house cocktails like the “Cold Brew Manhattan” or the “Spiced Grapefruit Margarita”, and a range of easy-drinking seasonal spritz. According to Sturrock, the seasonal spritz list was an easy choice coming into warmer Sydney weather.
As for the beer, alongside a local craft beer tinnie list featuring Sydney favourites like Grifter, Batch, Akasha, and Willie The Boatman, a majority of taps are pouring a rotating mix of Australian craft brews. If you pop through between 4pm and 6 pm Monday to Friday, you can grab $5 schooners and $7 wines for happy hour.
Image credit: Yasmin Mund