Bondys, Sydney

It was the era of excess. Big hair, shoulder pads, smoky eye shadows, leg warmers and Flashdance. We wore fluoro clothing, men were thin with mullets and stockbrokers were the hipsters du jour.

Bondys, Sydney
Bondy’s, Sydney

We had Sex on the Beach and Orgasms in nightclubs and hotel lounges. We ate prawn cocktails, served Devils on Horseback and told Americans to put a shrimp on the barbie. Ah, the 80s! Love it or hate it, it was the decade of MTV and music videos, and tunes that make generations let their hair down and sing along.

Bondys, Sydney
Circular Booth Seating

Named after high-profile businessman Aland Bond, Bondy’s is an 80s themed bar by Daimon Downey, Tim Holmes a Court and Kate McMahon (of Pelicano and The Lemon Tree) that opened in Sydney’s CBD in late 2014.

Bondys, Sydney
Fluoro Lighting

Aptly located in Sydney’s business district in Aurora Place, you’ll find it at the corner of Bent and Phillip Street perched one floor up from street level.

Bondys, Sydney
Ken Done Original Artwork

Take the gold lift, and you’ll enter a world bathed in fluoro pink lights, circular booths, black tiled ceiling and leather chairs, disco balls and original Ken Done artwork on the walls.

Bondys, Sydney
This Guy…

In keeping with the 80s, Bondy’s is a flash venue but it is far removed from anything kitsch or garish. The bar has a sophisticated vibe yet it is relaxed and welcoming. The cocktail list pays homage to prominent figures of the 80s with a 13 strong list of drinks that are well-crafted, well balanced and come with extravagant garnishes.

You’ll find Fosters and VB on tap – none of that craft beer here in the 80s – along with a solid spirit collection on the back bar. In true form, the champagne list starts with NV Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut at $22 a glass and goes up to the 2002 Cristal Roederer Special Edition 3L at $19,000.

Bondys, Sydney
Matthias Aso, Head Bartender

Matthias Aso heads the bar and brings his experiences from the Park Hyatt in Paris where he has worked for two and a half years, coupled with Café de Paris in Biarritz and a short stint at Pelicano in Double Bay. Along with Jean Munos, General Manager and Jeremy Staf, Venue Manager, the team brings a concept bar that is far removed from a speakeasy. It’s themed and doesn’t pretend to be otherwise, and the idea is to have fun with approachable drinks.

Bondys, Sydney
Pat Cash

The Pat Cash makes for an easy-drinking and refreshing cocktail. You can’t go wrong ordering ordering this mix of Hendricks gin with cucumber, apricot, citrus and Peychauds bitters.

Bondys, Sydney
Pixie Skase – That’s not a garnish… THAT’S a garnish!

The Pixie Skase is a mix of El Dorado rum, coconut water, blue curacao and banana and comes with an extravagant garnish of feathers and 100s and 1000s rimmed glass. The drink is very sweet, feminine, slushie-like and utterly flamboyant.

Bondys, Sydney
L-R: Total Eclipse, Gordon Gekko

The Total Eclipse (of the heart) makes a good aperitif. It’s floral, sweet, girly and elegant and consists of champagne, violet, citrus and pomegranate with a sphere of ice.

With its extravagant glassware and garnish, Gordon Gecko is one of the favourites. A drink that “starts rich and ends poor” as we are told, it has the perfect balance of Cognac, pineapple, mint and ginger and makes for easy drinking.

Bondys, Sydney
Jean Munos, General Manager

If you spot a Tiki mug with Magnum PI, that’s called the Robin’s Special, and at the time of visit , it wasn’t listed on the menu yet.

Bondys, Sydney
Robin’s Special

This is another favourite, a well-balanced Tiki drink made with Appleton rum, Hine Cognac, Angostura bitters with fresh grapefruit and grapefruit liqueur. It comes with a moustached straw that would make Tom Selleck proud.

Bondys, Sydney
Lethal Weapon

Finish with the Lethal Weapon, a drink that is true to its name. It’s a take on the Negroni made with Bruxo mezcal, sweet vermouth and Campari. It’s strong, smoky and boozy – and utterly delicious to the last drop.

Bondys, Sydney
Devils on Horseback

Bondy’s is in essence a cocktail bar, and should you feel like bar snacks, you’ll find a range of popular bar food as well as Devils on Horseback which are dates stuffed with almonds and wrapped in bacon. Other bar food include salt and pepper calamari rings, charcuterie and cheese platters.

Bondys, Sydney
L-R: Jean Munos, Daimon Downey

Bondy’s is about bringing back fun times where you could let your hair down, be as extravagant as you like, and have a grand good time. For some, it’s a trip down memory lane singing along to Aha’s Take on Me and Cyndi Lauper’s Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, for others, it’s a retro cool venue that you visit our of curiosity then bring your friends along.

Bondy’s is open Thursdays to Saturdays and every Thursday and Friday from 5 to 7pm, you’ll find Fosters and sparkling wine at 80s prices ($5). Now that’s good reason to go back to the future.

Photography © by Kevin Burke for Gourmantic – Copyright: All rights reserved.

Level 1, 16 Phillip Lane, Sydney CBD (Corner of Bent & Phillip Street, Sydney)
Ph: (02) 9251 2347
Hours: Thursday to Friday 5pm – late; Saturday 7pm – late

About the author

Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is a drinks writer, author of GROW YOUR OWN COCKTAIL GARDEN, SHRUBS & BOTANICAL SODAS and founder/editor of Gourmantic, Cocktails & Bars and The Gourmantic Garden. She has been writing extensively about spirits, cocktails, bars and cocktail gardening in more recent years. She is a spirits and cocktail competition judge, Icons of Whisky Australia nominee, contributor to Diageo Bar Academy, cocktail developer and is named in Australian Bartender Magazine's Top 100 Most Influential List. Her cocktail garden was featured on ABC TV’s Gardening Australia and has won several awards. She is a contributor to Real World Gardener radio program and is featured in several publications including Pip Magazine, Organic Gardener, Australian Bartender and Breathe (UK). Read the full bio here.