A new district, UpTown Sydney CBD, has been established in the northern end of Sydney’s CBD thanks to the Office of the 24-Hour Economy Commissioner’s Uptown Program and a number of businesses in the area.

The new district aims to encourage locals to rediscover the buzzing area, and remind Sydneysiders of the unique combination of classic and new that the area offers. The area contains diverse offerings for locals to enjoy from famous architecture, historic streets and laneways to world-class museums, and leading restaurants and bars.

“UpTown Sydney CBD comprises some of Australia’s oldest streets and buildings, as well as incredible new developments like Sydney Place and the award-winning Quay Quarter Tower,” says Laura Southcombe, District Coordinator of UpTown Sydney CBD. “This juxtaposition of old and new is only one element why this energetic district should be front and centre in locals’ minds when deciding not just where to eat and drink, but where to visit museums and catch live music.”

UpTown Sydney CBD includes the blocks behind the Circular Quay harbourfront (not the harbourfront itself), stretching from below the Cahill Expressway south to Bridge Street, and from Macquarie Street in the east to George Street in the west.

As part of the establishment of the district a website has launched www.uptown.sydney which highlights what the area has to offer and helping locals to plan their time to see and experience what UpTown Sydney CBD is all about.

Drinking and dining options spanning the new area include – world-class cocktails at ’70s-inspired bar Double Deuce, Japanese omakase at Besuto and Lana where modern Italian meets punchy Asian flavours. There’s also longistanding favourites such as Belles Hot Chicken and Sydney stalwart Chat Thai, as well as the latest iteration of George Street icon Jacksons on George. This pocket of the CBD is also a hotbed of culture, with the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Museum of Sydney, the Justice and Police Museum and Mary’s Underground.

“We want to encourage Sydneysiders to rediscover this area, which has 50 million people pass through it each year, and the multitudes of experiences it has to offer,” says Justin Newton, President of UpTown Sydney CBD and Director of House Made Hospitality, which operates Hinchcliff House (Lana, Grana, Apollonia), Martinez and This Way Canteen, all of which sit within the new district

“Pitching for the tourist dollar isn’t our aim. With both our website, which is a great resource for those looking for a night out or planning how to spend a few hours in the city, and our local community of businesses and cultural institutions coming together as one recognisable district, we’re hoping to reinvigorate this part of the CBD, and help Sydneysiders reimagine it beyond its corporate and ‘touristy’ reputation.”

Kenny Graham, co-owner of Mary’s Group, added: “I think every major city in the world has spots locals would refer to as ‘touristy’.

“With the major ferry port, the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House a stone’s throw away, this segment of the city can definitely fall into that trap. But the locals are taking charge and injecting life and vitality back in, and as a collection of small businesses, we’re proud to be part of such a vibrant, dynamic district.”

UpTown Sydney CBD has been made possible with a $200,000 grant from the NSW Government’s Uptown Program, which was launched by the Office of the 24-Hour Economy Commissioner in late 2022. The program encourages businesses to work as collectives to promote and tell stories about their areas, develop experiences to draw visitors and, in turn, continue to grow Sydney into a world-class nightlife destination.

24-Hour Economy Commissioner Michael Rodrigues said: “It’s encouraging to see a group of committed business owners get organised, roll their sleeves up and then work together to tell a story of their part of town that has sometimes relied a little too much on its famous landmarks and natural beauty to draw in audiences. Yes, the harbour, the Bridge and the Opera House are incredible, but the museums, galleries, and exciting restaurants and bars make this a world class destination for residents and visitors to our shores.”

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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