There Will Be Beer :: Arcadia Liquors

December 2nd 2013

A Guide to Sydney’s Pubs and Bars for Cheapskates and Drunkards


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I love Justified. It’s my non-guilty guilty-pleasure; I always get a warm, comfy feeling and a rush of excitement every time I sit down to watch it. Unfortunately, no one else seems to share my love of the show.

I try explaining it to several people, but they just don’t get it. It’s one of those things that you need to experience, something you’ll either love or won’t see the point to.
The same thing happens with bars I recommend to people.

Case in point: Arcadia Liquors.

Planted on 7 Cope St, Redfern (behind that big metal art thing which no one is quite sure what it is), the bar puts up an anonymous front. With no signs announcing its existence, you’ll only spot Arcadia at night thanks to the Christmas lights twinkling away through the large front window and, like a moth to the flame, you’ll undoubtedly be pulled through the doors into this superb little bar.

Looking like the owners simply put a bar in the middle of a dilapidated house, before throwing up a few pretty/creepy prints of horses and children in landscapes in an attempt to disguise the bare brick walls, and an outdoor/indoor smoking area which is simply a courtyard with half smashed walls; Arcadia does seem to fit the definition of a dingy-dive-bar.

But there’s nothing dingy (or divy for that matter) about it. The building may have the feel of dilapidation, but it also possess the same welcoming feel a pillow fort has.


The range of liquors are nothing to thumb your nose at either. Quality whiskeys, gins, tequilas and other spirits are all to be found, along with a shopping list of a cocktail menu. Now, their beer prices are a little on the high side, but it isn’t any old swill being sold: a selection of European beers and Young Henrys is on tap, so you can be forgiven for paying a little bit more for a whole lot more quality.

Maybe it’s because it’s in Redfern (which unfortunately still carries the stigma that it’s a dangerous place to go drinking) or maybe it’s because it doesn’t rely on shallow themes and pointless draw cards to pull a crowd, confusing the feeble minded drinkers. Whatever the reason, Arcadia hasn’t risen up in the eyes of the masses as a great place to drink.

Their loss.

Arcadia is much like my love of Justified. It is that guilty pleasure which, while you may not feel guilty about it, may earn you some raised eyebrows from people. It is one of those bars which people will either love or just won’t see the point to it.

This only makes Arcadia that much more special to those who do love it. It gives the crowd a sense of comradery, like they share secret or, as the case may be, perhaps a certain show?



Arcadia Liquors

7 Cope St, Redfern


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There Will Be Beer | Daniel Prior


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