Hidden behind a fridge door is Manly’s newest secret bar, The Cumberland.
We love scouting out secretive watering holes, so much so that we recently compiled a guide on Sydney’s 30 best hidden bars. Now it seems we’ll be adding a new player to the mix, tucked away in plain sight, just north of the bridge. Hidden in the heart of Manly is The Cumberland, the new underground speakeasy with a Spanish twist.
Opening within the newly established Cove Deli located at 17-19 Central Avenue, the prohibition-inspired drinking den can only be accessed by a 1920s fridge door that winds its way down a spiral staircase and into a basement bar.
Fronting the operation is Matt Clifton, managing director of MJC Group of Companies, which also operate the likes of Manly’s exceedingly popular Donny’s and InSitu. Teaming up with Clifton is Merivale veteran, Pete Ehemann, who is coming into the role of General Manager.
As for the interior, the 75 seater venue promises ornate and vintage furnishings, including luxe marble bench tops, sandstone blocks, original brickwork, repurposed timber and a series of brass and copper accents.
An impressive whisky offering will take pride and place on the drinks menu, with a 250+ selection available, spanning the globe. Classic cocktails will be given a Northern Beaches twist, with many locally foraged botanicals used as key ingredients.
In line with our current obsession with vinos ‘au natural’, you’ll also spot a range of boutique and organic wines on the menu, with a selection of local and European craft beers also available.
As for the food menu, Cove Deli is the star of the offering with a selection of signature boards showcasing the range of cheeses, Spanish cured meats and antipasto available for sale at the store above. A vintage dumbwaiter has been custom designed for the space to transport provisions from the deli to the bar. Another small kitchen within the downstairs speakeasy is responsible for producing a tapas menu that includes melted raclette, Spanish meatballs, duck terrine and empanadas.
Cove Deli and The Cumberland are both open for trade 5pm – 12am Sunday to Thursday and 5pm – 1am Friday and Saturday. And yes, that means you can purchase a midnight cheese wheel to go.