In 1812, while travelling from Lisbon to Cadiz, Edward Wollstonecraft met Alexander Berry. The two eventually formed a trading partnership, that operated out of a warehouse on George St, in The Rocks area, of the colony of New South Wales.
In 1819 Wollstonecraft received a 2,000 acre grant of land grant from Governor Lachlan Macquarie for 2,000 acres, 500 of which were located on the north shore of Port Jackson running from what is now St Leonards to the foreshore. Wollstonecraft subsequently built a large cottage on this acreage, which he called The Crows Nest.
In the years following Alexander Berry’s death, his son and heir David, commissioned John Hay (his cousin once removed from the Shoalhaven River area), to build a steam ship for him. Thus started a deep, and long term, friendship between John Hay and David Berry.
Fast forward to 2014, and this relationship between Crows Nest, Hay and Berry lives on in spirit in The Hayberry small bar, which is co-owned by Steve Jones, Mike Broome, and Sydney small bar legend Chris Lane.
Located a few doors down from its sister bar (Small Bar) on Willoughby Road, The Hayberry provides a true colonial experience. Embodying the rich Australian history that makes up both its namesake, and the suburb within which it is built.
The interior of the bar consists of exposed brick walls (adorned with framed pictures of Australian colonial fore-bearers), raw timber flooring, corrugated iron cladding, elevated (RSA-Testing) red leather booths, and custom made wrought-iron lighting. We’re also reliably informed that plush velvet curtains, and a bentwood, timber bar stools are on their way. Out the back, there’s a small, covered courtyard, with plants, and colonial-style, wooden chairs/tables. Oddly, this area has a slight mexicana feel to it (possibly due to the pine timber beams, and terra-cotta tiles – possible remnants of the previous tenants perhaps?).
Beverage-wise, The Hayberry positions itself as a ‘craft beer friendly’ destination. With 4 x taps, 1 x handpump, and over 10 x varieties of cans/bottles. There’s also a smattering of ‘traditional’ cocktails such as Old Fashioned’s, Whisky Sours and Margaritas. Or if you prefer your spirits mixed with fresh juice, they also have fresh apple, pineapple and pear offerings available. On the wine/sparking front, there’s a variety of Australian and New Zealand
The menu is still a work-in-progress, with chef Dion Green (ex-The Botonist) applying his hand for the first time to a distinctively, dive bar, ‘bloke-style’ fare. With Burgers, Subs, Wings, and small bites such as Fish Tacos, Pop(Hop?)corn Chicken, and Calamari gracing the menu.
I think it’s fare to say that while The Hayberry’s sister (Small) Bar, has a softer (dare I say – feminine) vibe to it, The Haybery is definitely aiming to appeal to a more masculine market.
Darlinghurst has its slice of American wild-west colonial history with The Shady Pines Saloon. Crows Nest now has an Australian colonial equivalent, with The Hayberry.
A: 97 Willoughby Road, Crows Nest
P: (02) 8084 0816
O: Tues-Sat: 16:00-00:00, Sun: 16:00-22:00