A Sydney institution has closed its doors. While Redfern Continental (and its cocktail bar GDR) are no more, we’re happy to announce that a new venue is already set to take its place, with Golden Gully owners Daniel McBride and Dynn Smulewicz poised to open a sister venue to their Leichhardt small bar this month.

The Sunshine Inn, as the new restaurant will be called, is set to open its Redfern doors on Thursday, September 24, with a casual bar facing the street and a degustation-only dining room — dubbed DD’s — taking over the old GDR space.

“We always thought it would be cool to do a concept in a bit more of a high traffic area,” says McBride. “But Redfern still has that neighbourhood vibe that our venues are all about.”

Gully’s Executive Chef Emma Evans (Alibi) will be in the kitchen serving up elevated gastropub eats up front and a three-to-five course degustation menu out back — all of which will be vegetarian and focus on locally sourced produce. Think jalapeño poppers, burnt garlic hummus and salt and vinegar potato scallops for snacks, plus New South Wales cheese and olive plates. For larger dishes, there’ll be a vego ‘meatball’ sub, vegan scallops (made with mushroom) and a seasonal pasta dish that won’t break the bank.

“It’ll be cheap eats that you can make a meal of or just have a few snacks with drinks,” says McBride. “I’m a big fan of getting a $17 or $18 pasta dish and just having a glass of wine by myself, so Sunshine Inn will accommodate for that.”

While the front bar will be bright and airy with a minimalist fit-out — think white walls with navy accents and natural timber furnishings — the back restaurant will be dark and moody.

“I loved the moodiness of GDR, so we’ve gone even further with that,” says McBride. “We’ve painted the ceiling a deep blue, reupholstered all of the booths and chairs in velvet and added in a chandelier.”

The intimate space will host two dinner sittings per night (with bookings essential), then turn into a cocktail lounge once the kitchen is done. It’s looking to be one of Sydney’s best priced degustation menus, too, ranging from a very reasonable $40–60 (for three-to-five courses, respectively).

Expect more refined fare here that’s reminiscent of Gully’s set menu. It will change regularly, but a dish that may make the cut is the cider-glazed brussels sprouts with miso and rice paper crackling.

Also similar to the one at Gully, the cocktail menu will focus on Aussie spirits and native flavours — but The Sunshine Inn’s list will include international booze, too.

“I found with the Gully that, though I love doing Australian-only spirits, it’s a bit restrictive if, say, someone wants a margarita,” says McBride. “What we’re doing instead is focusing on different approaches to classic cocktails, while getting extra creative with our house-made syrups so all of those native flavours will still shine through.”

The 20-strong cocktail list will include The Cure All (a tequila and mezcal take on the penicillin, made with jalapeño and ginger syrup), an amaro spritz (made using Poor Toms’ Imbroglio, strawberry gum syrup and prosecco) and the Aussie Amari Sour, which McBride described as “a grown-up version of an amaretto sour”.

The wine list takes cues from the Gully as well, focusing on Aussie drops while balancing the natural with the accessible. Local winemakers M&J Becker, Balmy Nights and Yetti and the Kokonut will all represent, and brews from Sydney’s Wildflower, Akasha and Grifter will be pouring as well.

Find The Sunshine Inn and DD’s at 180 Redfern Street, Redfern from Thursday, September 24. Opening hours will be 3pm–midnight Wednesday–Sunday at The Sunshine Inn and 6pm–midnight Wednesday–Saturday at DD’s.

Published on September 03, 2020 by

Marissa Ciampi

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