The Oxford Circus, Darlinghurst

Hidden along Darlinghurst’s Oxford Street is a new night spot unlike any other in Sydney. Occupying three levels, each with a distinctive theme, The Oxford Circus is the new venture from the team at Low 302 where each bar tells a story.

The Oxford Circus, Darlinghurst
Underground Bar

Start at The Oxford Underground Bar, a dimly-lit ground-floor hideaway with intimate booths and a mahogany bar with eclectic pieces where you can enjoy beer on tap and cocktails that take inspiration from the Middle East to Morocco.

The focus at this bar is on vodka, with a growing collection soon to span the world. Candied Punch features alongside beer on tap with cocktails priced between $14 and $16. Cocktail specials include the Sideshow Cooler with Zubrovka vodka, house made vanilla and cranberry soda, lemon juice and bitters, served short in an easy drinking style. Another cocktail worth trying is the Bloody Mahalia, a take on the Bloody Mary with a house made mix that is cooked for eight hours with spices such as paprika, star anise and coriander.

The Oxford Circus, Darlinghurst
The Cooch

Take the stairs up to level one. The Cooch features mysterious wall features and a relaxed, low key bar offering house cocktails and beers. The subtle lighting invites intimate conversations while the stage offers live music performances and the occasional burlesque.

Make your way towards the rear of the bar and be greeted by Zoltar, the Circus Master then take a good look around. The grand back bar stands in its glory, originally from a 16th century Transylvanian castle. The theme of this bar is coffee with creative takes on the Espresso Martini. Think Madam’s Latte with buttered vodka, house made salted caramel and fresh espresso served in crowd friendly cups so that guests can dance without spillage. You can also find non-caffeinated cocktails with tequila, Pedro Ximenez syrup, muddled dark grapes with lemon juice and Rosso Antico served in a rocks glass over ice.

The Oxford Circus
Management Bar

The sophisticated Management Bar occupies the top floor, a deluxe penthouse bar where you can sip on the finest champagne by the glass or indulge in bespoke cocktails paired with canapés. Sit down, relax and the circus crew will wheel a trolley of libations to you.

The premise of this opulent bar is to make available a changing range of champagnes by the glass, be it grandes marque or grower champagne including vintages. These are paired with local and imported cheese, charcuterie and fresh oysters to make it an indulgent experience.

The cocktail list at the upper bar is based on fresh fruit complemented by a choice of premium spirits and lesser known liqueurs with prices ranging between $20 and $22. The delicately flavoured Faire Le Figue, is a martini style cocktail with vodka, Esprit de Figues and hibiscus tea, served with fig and cheese, while Devil’s Plum Tree, brings tequila, rosso antico, muddled dark grapes and Pedro Ximenez syrup together in a sweeter concoction served in a rocks glass over ice.

The beer list equally impresses with the likes of Warsteiner, a German Pilsner, the Chamay range from Belgium and Deus Brut des Flandres, a unique Belgian beer made in the style of champagne and offered in champagne flutes.

The Oxford Circus is a whimsical world right in the heart of Oxford Street. Enter through the mysterious doors and let Zoltar and the bar team take you on an escape journey. Will it be the private booths of the Underground Bar, the live performances of The Cooch or the luxuriant experience of the Management Bar, the choice is yours.

The Oxford Circus
231 Oxford Street Darlinghurst
Hours: Wednesday to Sunday. 7pm until late.

Photo Credit: Supplied and used with permission.


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About the author

Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is the Founder/Editor of popular online magazine Gourmantic and Cocktails & Bars, a website dedicated to cocktail culture and the discerning drinker. She is named in Australian Bartender Magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential List since 2013, is a member of The Academy responsible for judging the World’s 50 Best Bars. She has also judged the inaugural Australasian Whisky Awards and various national cocktail competitions.