By Sacha Delfosse

The latest addition to the growing bar and restaurant hub in Sydney's Neutral Bay, The Local Bar, opened its doors towards the end of last year bringing a Melbourne-style laneway bar to the North Shore.

The bar is owned by former Wallaby George Gregan and his wife Erica, along with a handful of other celebrities including actor Sam Neill. It is being managed by Sam Marsh (pictured), formerly of Merivale.

Marsh first met the Gregans while working in one of their GG Espresso coffee shops. The latest venture retains a café feel down to the espresso machine located at the front of the bar.

“Originally we wanted to be more bar-focused but we have a background in espresso so we wanted to include that element. We didn’t want to limit ourselves to a café or bar,” Marsh says.

It opens at 7.30am on weekdays and 8am on weekends to cater to the breakfast trade and is licensed to serve alcohol from 10 am to 10pm Sunday to Wednesday and until 12pm from Thursday to Saturday.

The food menu changes throughout the day with the bar serving café style food for breakfast and lunch and in the evening offering patrons a European-style menu with a strong focus on tapas and share plates.

While the wine selection is not extensive there is a good variety to choose from, Marsh says, with the bar also offering a “small but sharp” cocktail list containing eight classics and eight signature cocktails.

“With the concept we didn’t want to go too crazy, just back to basics – a cool and comfortable space that is really focussed on customer service," Marsh says.

“We wanted to bring that small Surry Hills, Melbourne laneway feel to the North Shore.”

The Local Bar, 8 Young Lane, Neutral Bay, 02 9953 0027

The Shout Team

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