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The Rook, Sydney CBD

Author: Posted on: December 21, 2012 at 2:04 pm

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.


Corinne 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 for 2013 and several cocktail competitions. She is also named in the Australian Bartender Most Influential List for 2013.

This article is posted on Gourmantic.com. All rights reserved. Copyright © 2014

The Rook, Sydney CBD was last modified: July 19th, 2014 by Corinne

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12 Comments to “The Rook, Sydney CBD”

  1. [...] excited! After the Newtown Hotel and Sweethearts Rooftop BBQ, comes The Rook, an elevator access only rooftop restaurant and bar in the Sydney CBD. The new Keystone Group [...]

  2. [...] The 666 Vodka masterclass was held on Wednesday 3 April 2013 at the Rook rooftop bar. [...]

  3. […] bar, The Rook, hold Juniper Society Gin Club meetings on Mondays. The casual and educational gatherings showcase […]

  4. […] half an hour to prepare and serve as many of their cocktails for the guests. Jason Williams from The Rook took out the first prize with Michael Nouri from Vasco in second place and Jonathon Carr from The […]

  5. […] Global Brand Ambassador for Tanqueray, visited Sydney hosted a Juniper Society session at The Rook where he shared his vast knowledge of gin, including its history and evolution. In 45 minutes, he […]

  6. […] cocktail competition was held last night at Café del Mar in Sydney with Cristiano Beretta of The Rook taking out the first […]

  7. […] into the bartending industry a little, but you can still find me at least three shifts a week at The Rook. I am again blessed to be working with another mentor and good friend, Cristiano Beretta. A perfect […]

  8. […] The Rook has created Gin & Tonic Week and is currently underway from 7-12 April. Monday night saw the Juniper Society meeting dedicated to the G&T with Ben Davidson chatting about the drinks history, and bartenders Jimmy Irvine from Hinky Dinks, Mischa Bonova from Rockpool Bar and Grill and The Rook‘s own Rollo Anderson reworking the classic drink. Wednesday 9 April (7pm) is Tanqueray Night with ‘copa’ style G&T’s and the sounds of Rainbow Chan. Friday 11 April (from 7pm) will go all French with G-Vine gin with grape-inspired G&T’s and So Frenchy So Chic crew doing their thing. […]

  9. […] Encanto Pisco tasting was held at The Rook on Wednesday 19 February […]

  10. […] The Rook also hosts Juniper Society meetings on the second Monday of every month at 6pm. […]

  11. […] cab ride into the city takes us to our favourite rooftop bar, The Rook, the home of the Juniper Society and the talented bar team with Cristiano Beretta, Rollo Anderson […]

  12. […] wines. Feast on a choice of three burgers and three lobster dishes above Sydney. Read our review of The Rook. Address: Level R, 56-58 York St Sydney NSW 2000 Hours: Mon – Fri: 4:00 pm – 12:00 am; […]

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