ESQ Bar & Dining: The QVB’s Hidden Speakeasy

Drink, Eat, Restaurants, Sydney / 29 August 2022

Travel through time with vintage styling, smooth jazz, swing bands, custom-made cocktails and a speakeasy-inspired 6 o’clock swill. 

Spring is the season of the secret bars it seems, with a new 1920’s inspired bar announced this week from Solotel Group, and now ESQ Bar & Dining, opening a prohibition-themed bar fit for royalty, housed within the CBD’s iconic Queen Victoria Building.

Set behind a hidden entrance, ESQ will transport diners back in time to the prohibition era with an all-new speakeasy bar bursting with illicit fun, live music, prohibition-style cocktails and a wine list laden with big hearty reds.

The extensive wine selection notably features the 5 B’s: Bordeaux, Brunello, Burgundy, Barossa and Barolo, core classics that make up the world of wine with a few wine obscurities thrown in for those who like discovering something new. Guests can even sip a glass of Penfolds ‘Bin 95 – Grange’ Shiraz, and receive ESQ’s wagyu cheeseburger with gruyère cheese, house ketchup, pickles and a side of fries – with compliments of the house!

Also on Head Chef Guillaume Dubois’ menu of reinterpreted comfort classics, you’ll find delectable dishes like foie gras served with poached pear, cured duck and brioche for a small after-work bite with big flavour. When a long day in the office calls for a revival of the senses, the pork schnitzel “Holstein” with hen’s egg, white anchovy, caper and jus gras is guaranteed to tantalise the tastebuds.

Head in between 4pm to 6pm and further work up your appetite with ESQ’s 6 O’clock Swill. The drawn-out happy hour features $15 Negronis and Martinis, Gimlets, and a select list of wines by the glass. 

Beyond the 6 O’clock Swill, the signature cocktails feature names inspired by the classics such as Gatsby, Boardwalk Empire and Gangs of New York. The ‘John Hancock’ steals the crown on our must-try list featuring Starward Two Fold Whisky, leatherwood honey, ginger syrup, fresh apple juice and champagne, this perfectly balanced cocktail hits notes of sweet, smoke and spice like music to our palate.

For those that prefer the music in your ears, ESQ has lined up a live music program of celebrated jazz bands and musicians set to the dimly lit backdrop of ESQ’s plush velvet curtains, luxe furnishings, exposed brick walls and timber accents. 

ESQ is now open for dinner on Tuesdays and lunch and dinner from Wednesday to Saturday with the venue open until late. Find out more here

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