The Rook, Sydney CBD

After speakeasy, laneways and basements, Sydney bars are taking it to the rooftops. The Rook, the latest venue from the Keystone Group, is a combined restaurant-bar perched high above York Street, and it has Sydneysiders looking upwards.

The Rook, Sydney
The Rook, Sydney Rooftop Bar

With no street-level signage, The Rook can only be accessed via an elevator in an office building from 4pm. And on a weeknight, the recently-opened venue is buzzing with the after work crowd matched with the boundless energy from the team behind the bar.

The Rook, Sydney
Dining area

Colourful mural art, old and new furniture, industrial caged lights and the combination of raw materials add a grungy elegance to the interior that is soon to have a retractable roof for dining under the stars. A separate open air section carrying the same theme accommodates smokers with views over the city.

The Rook, Sydney
The bar team, L-R, Jonothan Carr, Jason Williams, Cristiano Beretta

The bar is headed by Cristiano Beretta, ex Black Pearl in Melbourne, and together with Keystone Group Bar Manager Jason Williams, they create an inventive and at times playful cocktail list which changes on a weekly basis.

The Rook, Sydney
Blackboard cocktail list

Florabotanica ($18) combines Australian Gin from West Winds with yuzu juice, thyme and a touch of dandelion bitters into an easy drinking, floral and refreshing cocktail that is perfect for summer.

The Rook, Sydney
L-R: Florabotanica, Fire and Loathing

Fear and Loathing ($19) takes it up a few notches with the use of Mezcal, grapefruit, dry cherry liqueur bitters, and the cedar wood scented page of the book folded into a paper plane and clipped to the glass. The cedar wood aroma combined with the fruity and dry notes and the lingering smokey finish of the Mezcal makes it the must-have cocktail.

The wine list is created by Keystone’s Head Sommelier, Sarah Limacher and offers a selection of local and international wine, champagne and sparkling, some by the glass, dessert wines and digestives with a range of boutique beer and ciders.

Taking inspiration from a Burger and Lobster Restaurant Cocktail Bar in London’s Soho, The Rook’s food menu offers a choice of burgers and half lobsters, prepared three ways by head chef Freddy Silveira, formerly of Quay and Guillaume at Bennelong.

The Rook, Sydney
The Rook menu

Choose from the wagyu burger ($25), fried chicken ($22) or haloumi with spinach and peppers ($20). Lobster three ways offers a choice of half lobsters with mornay, garlic butter and lemon, or citrus vinaigrette ($50 each). Three side dishes include the house salad ($12), truffle fries ($9.50) and onion rings ($10.50). For dessert, choose from deep fried mars bar with ice cream ($12), sundae for two ($19) or spiked fruit ($16).

The Rook, Sydney
Outdoor smoking area

The Rook combines the best of both worlds with drinking and dining in an indoor/outdoor space with views over the city’s rooftops. The vibe is buzzy, the crowd is friendly, and with the calibre of cocktails and wines, it is an ideal rooftop destination to sip on your favourite beverage on long hot summer nights.

Updated October 2013 – Check out The Rook’s NEW Cocktail list here.

Update June 2014 – The Rook is featured in Gourmantic’s 5th Birthday Progressive Bar & Restaurant Tour.

The Rook
Level R, 56-58 York St
Sydney NSW 2000

The Rook on Urbanspoon

More photos of The Rook on the Gourmantic Facebook page.


This article is posted on - All rights reserved - Copyright © 2015.

The Rook, Sydney CBD was last modified: December 17th, 2014 by Corinne Mossati

Did you enjoy this article? Share it with your friends using the icons below.

Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is the founder and editor of Gourmantic. An avid scribe, she has taken pen to paper since the age of five. Her repertoire includes long works of fiction, short stories and travelogues. She is a winner of the GT travel writing competition, has judged the Australasian Whisky Awards and several cocktail competitions. She is also named in the Australian Bartender Most Influential List.


  1. Pingback: News Roundup: The Rook, Cabrito Coffee Traders, Mejico, Ledaig | Gourmantic

  2. Pingback: 666 Butter Vodka | Gourmantic

  3. Pingback: Neighbourhood, MoVida at T2, Gay Bar, Café Paci | Gourmantic

  4. Pingback: Suntory Cup NSW Finals 2013 | Gourmantic

  5. Pingback: News Round Up: Gambero Rosso, Tanqueray with Angus Winchester, Parke Davis, Bairro Portugues, Cider Fair and more | Gourmantic

  6. Pingback: Cristiano Beretta Wins Mezcal Amores Competition | Gourmantic

  7. Pingback: Bartender Profile: Katherine Wasiel | Gourmantic

  8. Pingback: News Round Up: Jamie Oliver at Sea, Sail & Anchor The Bloke, Luxe Woollahra & more | Gourmantic

  9. Pingback: NEWS: Rusty Cerven, Dead Rabbit NYC, Harlen Wheatley, Otis Florence & Sam Ross | Gourmantic

  10. Pingback: Sydney’s Best Gin Bars | Gourmantic

  11. Pingback: Progressive Bar & Restaurant Tour: Gourmantic's 5th Birthday | Gourmantic

  12. Pingback: Top Ten Sydney Bars | Gourmantic

  13. Pingback: Time Out Sydney Bars Award Nominees 2014 | Gourmantic

  14. Pingback: Beefeater MIXLDN Global Bartender 2014 Australia Final | Gourmantic

  15. Pingback: The Rook: Cocktails with Cristiano Beretta | Gourmantic

  16. Pingback: Top 10 Cocktails of 2014 | Gourmantic

  17. Pingback: Four Pillars Navy Strength Gin | Gourmantic

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>