By Sacha Delfosse

Jason Scott and Anton Forte (pictured), the award-winning duo behind one of Sydney’s favourite small bars, Shady Pines Saloon, opened the doors to their new CBD venue, The Baxter Inn, on Monday (November 28).

The much anticipated opening night, which was a month behind schedule due to a licensing delay, was an enormous success with a large number of patrons heading down on the first night of trade.

“Monday was out of control but it was really fun,” Forte says.

Although both he and Scott always had a desire to open more venues when they launched Shady Pines Saloon, he says it was the success of their first bar that allowed them to expand their operations.

“If Shady Pines wasn’t successful we wouldn’t have had any money or time to open The Baxter Inn,” Forte says.

He describes The Baxter Inn as having the feel of a “Boston sports bar” that complements the 120-year-old building the bar is located in, which features beautiful arches, exposed bricks and timber joints.

“It’s an authentic, classic looking space. It has great bones, lots of character and it’s got a killer back bar too,”

A large part of that back bar is made up of Scotch whisky, with the extensive selection organised and ranged according to regions.

“There’s a lot of whisky, we got loads of it. We just think it’s delicious and the bottles look cool.”

Despite having a strong bar team already in place at Shady Pines Saloon, Forte and Scott recruited a whole new bar team for The Baxter Inn that includes Toby Hilton in the role of General Manager and Lewis Jaffrey behind the bar.

Baxter Inn is currently operating from 4pm to 1am Monday to Saturday, and despite being in the CBD, Forte says that the bar won’t be aiming to cater to the lunchtime trade.

“We want to have a clear identity, we want to be a bar not a café bar or a lunchtime venue, we are a bar and that’s it. We just want to open the doors, do some trade and make punters feel comfortable.”

Located at 152-156 Clarence Street, Sydney

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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