66 King Street plays host to The Charles Grand Brasserie and Bar, and a downstairs nightclub, Tiva.
The new venues have been developed by the team behind Loulou Bistro, Etymon Projects – and each has a distinct, yet connected identity, as Andrew Jones, Etymon Director of Operations told The Shout.
“There’s a fantastic breadth of experiences across The Charles Grand Brasserie, The Charles Bar, and Tiva downstairs,” Jones says.
“From takeaway coffee and pastries to after work wines, decadent lunches, dinners and afternoon tea through to late-night music – we’d love to be a place that you can visit multiple times a week.”
Moreover, 66 King Street has been created to provide a holistic hospitality offering to guests, who are able to move between the three bars with ease, as their visit progresses. To facilitate this, Jonothan Carr, Etymon’s Director of Bars, and his team have developed a common cocktail menu for entire site.
“We have eight core cocktails available across all three venues which provides a seamless cocktail experience if guests are transitioning through the different spaces,” Carr says.
“They know they can order a Regal Margarita in The Charles Bar and enjoy the same drink later that evening downstairs at Tiva.”
Carr, who has also produced the drinks list at Loulou Bistro, says he was looking to produce graceful twists on classic drinks when creating this cocktail list.
“Elegant, sophisticated, quality, and interesting was the approach I was going for overall and then each venue has its own tailored brief,” he explains.
“These core cocktails are somewhat classics with a Charles and Tiva spin. We have a Seasonal Bellini with house made sorbet; a King Street Spritz made with Beefeater Gin, strawberry and citrus oils and bubbles; a Regal Margarita that’s Altos Blanco tequila, citrus, agave and smoked paprika roasted pineapple; and an Old Fashioned made using Buffalo Trace Bourbon, aromatic bitters, brown sugar and citrus oils.
“Our martinis can be made with either Beefeater Gin or Absolut Elyx vodka and can be ordered as a single serve or shared between two or four guests as can the Espresso Martini, Negroni with housemade vermouth, and Monkey 47 Gimlet with lime oil sherbet.”
Nevertheless, each of the three spaces also has its own cocktail offering, as Carr outlines.
“Alongside the eight core cocktails, each of the three spaces has four drinks unique to that venue,” the Director of Bars says.
“The Charles Bar is an all-day European style bistro bar vibe and so we have a delicious Bloody Mary and a Reverse Martini for those who want a drink with lunch but need to get back to work afterwards.
“Next door at The Charles Grand Brasserie the elegance is heightened with the drinks complementing the incredible food. We have a Royal Fizz made with Beefeater, apricot brandy, lemon, emulsifier, and soda as well as a Cacao Manhattan using Sazerac rye, house sweet vermouth, cacao with orange and aromatic bitters.”
Tiva is perhaps the most eye-catching of the three venues, as it is a nightclub in a grown-up mould. There’s live music four nights a week, but there’s also table service, and generous seating booths.
In order to keep the emphasis on the music, drinks are presented at table-side, featuring a restrained sense of theatre, with “nothing too outrageous or to detract from the amazing entertainment on stage every night,” Carr adds.
Highlights include a Tiva Old Fashioned for two ($160)– made with Hennessy Cognac, Glenmorangie single malt, Sazerac rye and aromatic bitters. The cocktail is presented in a chilled decanter, stacked on top of two rocks glasses.
Yet, it’s not all about the cocktails at 66 King Street, with The Charles Bar maintaining a strong emphasis on Champagne – particularly grower’s Champagne from small-scale estates.
Etymon’s Director of Wines, Paolo Saccone, outlines how this approach works.
“At The Charles, we have a fantastic selection of very small, organic Champagnes by growers who only own a few hectares and produce very small quantities of amazing Champagne. We have great relationships with a few suppliers, including Organic Champagne, which are very passionate about the region and growers,” Saccone says.
“We decided to have a strong emphasis on organic grower Champagne to feed the growing curiosity for this style.
“It’s certainly not easy to get our hands on these Champagnes – some only come into the country once a year – but they’re worth it.”
In addition to Champagne, Saccone’s team is also operating a Coravin system, containing 25 to 30 wines.
“The Coravin system allows wine enthusiasts to try a glass of exceptional wine without opening or purchasing the whole bottle,” Saccone says.
“Wines are from top producers and Domaine from France, Italy, Austria, and Germany with some extremely limited and exclusive [wines on offer].”
Of course, Australian wines are also on the menu, with the venues listing wines from Leeuwin Estate, Grosset, Moss Wood, Rockford and Petaluma.
The three venues are found in art deco masterpiece, the ACA building, and for Director of Operations Jones, there were certain challenges in working in such a historic building.
“It was a longer refurbishment process than usual – about two years of planning and six months of actual build time. We worked with H&E Architects for interior architecture and construction and then COX Architecture for interior design and styling.”
Jones also sees the venue as part of a growing drive to get crowds to return to the Sydney CBD – and of bolstering the Harbour City’s late night music scene.
“Live music venues are an integral part of any major city’s cultural landscape, including Sydney. We’re immensely proud to create a dedicated space for live music in Sydney’s CBD.”
“Exceptional hospitality experiences play a hugely important role in encouraging people back into the CBD post COVID. After the last few years of largely staying home, we’re noticing that when people dine out, they’re looking for an experience not just a meal.
“Opening doors, tableside service, dessert trolleys, flawless old school service – it’s those elegant touches that take a dining out experience from great to exceptional,” Andrew concludes.
Tiva opened on 20 October and is located downstairs at 66 King Street. Open 4pm-2am nightly.
The Charles Grand Brasserie and Bar both opened on 21 October. Open 12pm to midnight daily.
This story originally appeared in our sibling publication, Bars & Clubs. Subscribe to the newsletter here.