Introducing Sydney’s YCK Laneway precinct

April 22, 2021
By Ioni Doherty

There’s a newly named and claimed precinct in Sydney’s CBD. YCK -–  is an intricate, interesting puzzle of bars, nooks and restaurants that spans York, Clarence and Kent Streets.

Little bars and underground hives were humming with people last night as Bacardi-Martini Australia celebrated its support for the YCK Laneway Block Party – a six week long celebration featuring cultural events, activities and delicious drinks. The collaboration between the precinct’s small bars, operators and entertainers is intended to lure people back to gather in the city spaces they love.

The Barbershop’s Mike Enright explained that the City of Sydney had contributed $270K to the concept which the YCK group then presented to Bacardi-Martini Australia’s on-premise team: always a strong supporters of small bars.

Bacardi-Martini Australia Brand Ambassador Loy Catada explains, “It’s usually because small bars are family run businesses which is what we are.”

“And more than this,” he adds, “Small bars are the way to the consumers’ hearts. It gives our brands a more intimate connection with customers. We sell drinks, not bottles of drinks.”

Of the Small Bars Collaboration, President of the Independent Bars Association and CEO of House Pocket Karl Schlothauer said, “Through this collaboration, YCK seeks to establish its own precinct that celebrates Sydney’s small bar scene, much like the districts and quarters found in international capital cities of the world.”

Schlothauer (pictured centre above with Loy Catada on left & Joseph Chisholm on right) considers himself fortunate. He has watched many operators close their doors. As the owner of three venues, it is Pocket Bar in Terrigal where business is booming, helping him and his team to stay afloat. He also owns Button Bar in Surry Hills and Stitch Bar in YCK where, he says, business is down by 75 per cent.     

In addition to Bombay Sapphire and Patrón Tequila, American Express and Time Out have also come on board as partners of the festival which runs across 15 venues. At each venue, guests can enjoy bespoke and unique Bombay Sapphire or Patrón Tequila cocktails like the Patrón Paloma, the incomparable Tommy Martini and the Blueberry Hills made with Bombay Bramble. Bacardi-Martini Australia are also supporting some of the venues to be able to put on entertainment offerings.

The YCK frolics through until May 22 and includes:

  • Wheelie bin graffiti art at the Barbershop, which will take place for the public on Saturday, 1 May from 10.00am-2.00pm
  • Stitch Bar for a ‘South of the Border’ Mexican themed dinner, drinks and entertainment – the next night is Wednesday, 5 May and tickets are still available
  • Lobo Plantation (Pictured above) rum flights and Cuban music

For more information about YCK Laneway Block Party, or for the full program of events please visit: . A list of participating venues is below:

  • Since I Left You: 338 Kent Street
  • Papa Gede’s: 348 Kent Street
  • The Lobo: Basement, 1/209 Clarence Street
  • Spawn Point: Basement, 199 Clarence Street
  • The Barber Shop: 89 York Street
  • The Duke of Clarence Laneway: 152-156 Clarence Street
  • Stitch Bar: 61 York Street
  • Uncle Ming’s Basement: 29 York Street
  • Prince of York: 18 York Street
  • Grandma’s Bar Basement:  275 Clarence Street
  • Sammy Junior:  66 King Street
  • Swinging Cat: 44 King Street
  • Burrow Bar: Basement/96 Clarence Street
  • The Rook: Level 7/56-58 York Street
  • Esteban: 1 Temperance Lane

Photo credit: Tim Pascoe

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