A new two-level bar has arrived in Sydney, bringing New Orleans food, cocktails and charm to Darlinghurst.
Headed up by Doug Laming (ex The Smoking Panda, Brix Distillery and Rabbit Hole Bar) and Merlin Kibe, The Big Easy pays homage to New Orleans’ famed attractions, restaurant and bar precincts and musical heritage.
“I like to think of the bar as a mash-up of each distinct area of New Orleans,” said Laming.
“I’ve taken inspiration from popular areas like Bourbon Street and the French Quarter, as well as the city’s the Hoodoo/Voodoo culture, to create an authentic space that blends the classical roots of the city’s cocktail heritage with the fun atmosphere of the Mardi Gras on Bourbon Street.”
Downstairs, the cocktail bar is decked out with exposed timber and greenery, soft pastel pink and deep green accents. The venue opens out to a rustic courtyard, which features a New Orleans-inspired mural created by Sydney artist Kentaro Yoshida.
Upstairs, a second mural, by artist Natty B, beckons visitors into a moody space which can be hired exclusively for events. The upstairs space is suitable for up to 60 people, comprising both the Hoodoo lounge and the rooftop.
The bar’s cocktail list is extensive and each drink takes inspiration from a New Orleans classic Signature cocktails include The Big Easy Fizz, a twist on a Ramos Gin Fizz, swapping gin for a blend of Sazerac Rye and Southern Comfort Black all combined with burnt orange, lemon, Peychaud’s bitters, egg white and Fever Tree dry ginger ale and a sprig of rosemary.
The Cajun- and Creole-inspired food menu takes cues from staple dishes served up across New Orleans but ups the ante with homemade spice mixes and rubs, used to coat delicacies like southern beef jerky.
Signature dishes include blackened Atlantic cod with creole rub, creamed corn and toasted buckwheat, and Big Easy jambalaya, packed with Andouille sausage and shrimp.
Live music is also set to be a signature for the venue, with The Big Easy’s Sessions in the Sun live music sets to be hosted every Sunday.