By Sacha Delfosse
After months of hard work former Pocket bar manager, Ben Taouss, will tonight be opening the doors to his new bar, Assembly.
The venue has capacity for up to 200 people and offers an artificial outdoor picnic garden seating, complete with picket fences, big white umbrellas, vines on the wall and bright green grass for those that want a brighter space to sit and enjoy their drinks and food.
“Outside is a bit of a picnic concept and more a place to come for a quick lunch during the week. It’s a bit brighter and obviously it’s in an atrium, so we wanted to make it a bit warmer instead of having an airport feel to it,” Taouss explains.
The interior of the venue on the other hand has a low-lit industrial loft feel, with concrete floors and walls, exposed pipes and minimal decorations. The seating varies from large coffee tables and leather couches to high tables and metal bar stools.
“We are trying to achieve an industrial feel but still keep a cosy and homely vibe to the place,” Taouss says.
The bar area was designed to be “a bartender friendly work space”, Taouss explains, and has a much more rustic feel, with old stacked up apple cart boxes converted into a back bar and the wood for the bar top coming from a 100 year old disused bridge.
The bar team includes notable Sydney bartenders, such as Jonothan Carr and Mitch Bushell, while Taouss also recruited bartenders from less cocktail oriented venues who showed they “were hungry for it and had the speed”.
“You can always teach them how to make cocktails but you can’t teach people to be quick behind the bar and to have the right attitude,” Taouss says.
Jonothan Carr and Ben Taouss behind the new bar.
He describes the venue as a small bar and restaurant and he hopes to build up a great deal of business with the lunch time CBD office worker crowd offering them an Assembly Lunchbox special deal as well as the ability to purchase a bottle of wine and have the bar store it for up to three days.
“I think it’s important in the city and there’s a big market for that. We will offer a lot of sharing plates, it’s a bit of an around the world menu with everything from salads, ribs, couscous, a bit of everything and something you can eat quickly for lunch. We had a pretty good Chef design our menu.”
Apart from the lunchtime crowd, Taouss hopes Assembly will also be a destination for after work drinks, and the venue offers table service and a choice of seven white and red wines as well as an easy to navigate cocktail list.
The cocktail list, broken up into three sections covering classic cocktails, Assembly signature drinks and a one called The Ambassadors that features contributions from leading brand ambassadors.
Assembly is located on 488 Kent St (access through Regent Place) and is open from midday to midnight.