York Lane, or YoLa as they affectionately refer to themselves, epitomises everything that is a small bar. This hole in the wall, 30 seat bar/cafe is tucked away down a dinghy (York) lane located behind Wynyard train station.
By day, York Lane is a cafe that caters to the hipster, fixie set, and banking suits all looking to recaffeinate and stock up on delicious cafe snacks. By night the cafe takes on a true small bar persona, offering a variety of liquid refreshments, and light snacks to those willing to venture down the often rubbish lined (until the 8:15pm pick) lane.
Bar owners, and self confessed “architecture freaks” Dieter Steinbusch and John Ubaldi have done a great job of fitting out the premises on a minimal budget. Having their initial investment of 30K matched by Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore and her Sustainable Sydney 2030 program – which serves to encourage small-medium sized businesses in the CBD. The boys interior design tastes has seen repurposed airline food trolleys used as liquor shelves behind the bar, and old used car tyres and sleepers take pride of place as flooring.
The bar provides a small selection of tasty tapas and finger food – substantial enough to keep the wolf from the door. Including Antipasto to share ($22), Duck Pancakes with Hoisin sauce ($14), Haloumi & Pea Fritters with Tzatsiki ($9), and the moorish Pumpkin, Semi-Sundried Tomato and Goats Cheese Pastry Parcels ($11)
Owner Steinbusch has somewhat of a penchant for aperitifs which shows in the extensive selection on offer, including an interesting Cynara Artichoke Heart aperitif. The wine list is relatively small, with 11 wines to choose from (3 x red, 6 x white, 2 x sparkling) prices range from $6.50-$15.00 a glass (or $35-$85 per bottle). Beer snobs haven’t been overlooked, theres 3 x craft ales to sample, with 1 x of these being rotated each week. It’s this rotating beer, that forms the basis for a very interesting rewards program – Tour De Yola, where patrons register for the event at the bar, then need to pop back into York Lane and sample the newly rotated craft beer for that week. This competition (ahem program) will run for 52 x weeks, so is only for the die hard YoLa fans. The prize at the finish line (for 52 consecutive weeks of beer drinking) is a $2,500 Orologio watch.
The bar has an extensive selection of vinyl which patrons can brose through and get the bar staff to throw on the old skool deck.
Despite its lo-fi fitout, and small beer selection, I really like York Lane. It has a great ambiance, and the staff were chatty and friendly. The barman on our night said he has the best bar job in Sydney not having to work weekends (as the bar is closed). So be sure to drop in one night after work and mention Small Barfly sent you!
York Lane – Wynyard
York Lane, Wynyard,
Between York and Clarence
Ph:(02) 9299 1676
Tapas/finger-food from $9