There Will Be Beer :: Sappho
August 22nd 2012
You like a good ol tipple huh? A few crisp brewskies around the town? Our guess is you enjoy a spot o’ grog, but perhaps you don’t wanna fork out for it? FBi’s Daniel Prior can help you out. Follow his adventures on the sauce at Sydney’s best cheap watering holes in…
There Will Be Beer: A Guide to Sydney’s Pubs & Bars for Cheapskates and Drunkards
First stop, Sappho in Glebe.
Sappho Wine & Tapas Bar – 51 Glebe Point Rd, Glebe
The first time I came to Sappho Bookstore, I was ten. I didn’t go willingly either. No ten year old ever goes anywhere willingly. My parents, well aware of this after raising my two brothers, cunningly told me that there was a comic sale on. Eagerly jumping out of the car after an hour-long drive, I rushed into the store and found nothing but books. Reading books. No pictures or anything. Realisation dawned on me; I turned to my parents, slowly declaring, “There is no comic sale.” They threw their heads back and laughed.
Fourteen years on, my enthusiasm for alcohol has blossomed and my interest in literature has since expanded to include books with their dreaded words. It seems the Sappho Bookstore has grown up as well, adding a Wine & Tapas Bar, making it an excellent place to appease the interest and enthusiasm of my adult self; rather than just the location where I realised parents can be excellent manipulators and liars.
So once you’re done reading that limited edition book by that author you’ve been searching for years for, it’s time to get everyone to the bar! Once you’ve squeezed through aisles of second-hand books, you’ll find the bar hidden out the back of the store. A small alley leads out into the courtyard; the walls are covered in magnificent paintings and graffiti. Christmas lights are strung haphazardly around the walls and rafters, jazz gently plays from cobwebbed speakers, giving the whole place a great bohemian feel, oozing of character.
Now, to the cheapskates amongst us: I’d say their prices are pretty fair ($5 for house red/bottle of Tooheys). To the alcoholics amongst us: They make mighty fine jugs of sangria and during winter they replace it with mulled wine (though personally, I would prefer if they just sold both side by side).
The atmosphere and crowd here reek of culture. I don’t mean that in a bad way, just that if you’re looking for a place to make an ass of yourself, it’s not here. This is the kind of place you bring a friend to discuss literature, politics and whatever fuck up the world is currently dealing with.
Sappho is also an excellent place to take someone on a first date: casual yet intimate, relaxed yet concentrated, and being a book store with a veranda it’s pretty easy to come up with topics if you’re struggling with something to say (“Do you like to read? What kind of books do you read? Oh, Twilight? Err, alright… It’s so nice to have an outdoor area to smoke, don’t you think? Oh, you don’t smoke? Well, how about a glass of wine? You don’t drink… Right. Which friend introduced us again? Oh, I just want to know who I’m supposed to punish.” [NOTE: If you find yourself in said conversation, the toilets are spacious and covered in posters, so it’s totally equipped for you to hide out until he/she leaves while you read about upcoming gigs].
Many moons ago, my parents had to lie to get me through the front door of the Sappho. Now, the staff have a hard time getting me out (who, by the way, are a very friendly group who are good for a chat and a recommendation of both alcohol AND literature). If you want to get your friends or prospective date(s) there, the truth is pure and simple: Sappho Bar is a great place to enjoy a drink and a chinwag.
But if that doesn’t work, just tell them there’s a comic sale on. It worked for me.
Sappho Wine & Tapas Bar
51 Glebe Point Rd, Glebe, NSW 2037
Open Wednesday to Saturday – 6pm to 11pm (Happy Hour 7-8pm)
Thirsty for more? Join Daniel Prior for another libation adventure in the next instalment of THERE WILL BE BEER, coming soon…