By Clyde Mooney, editor Australian Hotelier

The owners of Sydney's Cheers bar have opened a new offering downstairs to broaden the appeal of the George St venue and service a distinct market gap in the area.

In a move targeting both sophisticated corporates and younger patrons, 80-Proof opened quietly in May with a style described as '1920s speakeasy meets New York loft, with elements of London cool'. 

The underground haven sports studded red leather booths, turquoise dining chairs and hanging pendent lamps over recycled timber tables. [continued below]

It stocks a "cracking range of whiskies", draught and packaged craft beer, as well as fine gins and vodkas including the artisan London-based Sipsmith.

The room also boasts a big-budget sound system and on Friday and Saturday nights transforms into a nightclub, driven by a new DJ booth built using 100-year-old railway sleepers uncovered during the renovation. 

Clive Morley, formerly of The Local Taphouse and City Hotel, was behind the venue's fit-out and philosophy'. He told TheShout it was built in just four weeks and has already seen strong engagement with local businesses.

"Everyone that has come in has revisited, and they are starting to book in their regular corporate drinks and work functions."

The menu is still something of a work in progress, but caters to the target market with meals served 'rustic' on boards, with chunky cutlery and wooden-handled knives.  

The Shout Team

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

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