By Andrew Starke

The number of small bars in Sydney is set to grow after council recently approved funding for a new project designed to enliven a forgotten laneway in the city.

Berta Restaurant and Bar is the latest Surry Hills small bar to have been awarded a matched cash grant under the City's Laneways Business Development Program.

"As part of Sustainable Sydney 2030, the City is committed to enlivening laneways, which helps to create a more vibrant City centre," said Lord Mayor Clover Moore MP.

"Sydneysiders have really embraced the small bar scene, with more than 25 popular small bars now operating in the City of Sydney Local Government Area (LGA).

“These businesses have been so successful in activating our City and CBD laneways that we are also looking for other fine grain businesses like galleries, coffee shops and boutiques to move into these forgotten spaces.”

The matched-cash grant will help Berta Restaurant and Bar Pty Ltd establish a new small bar opening onto Alberta Street, one of the City's 48 laneways designated for development.

The building, which is within the block bounded by Wentworth Avenue and Goulburn, Elizabeth and Liverpool Streets, has been vacant for more than two years.

Andrew Cibej and the team behind the nearby Vini have brought much of the same formula to Berta Restaurant and Bar.

The City of Sydney established its Laneways Business Development program in 2008 to provide matched cash funding and mentoring and training opportunities for new businesses wanting to set up in laneways.

Sydney's first laneway bar, Small Bar, opened in December 2008 after receiving a matched cash grant from the City.

Since then, the Laneways Business Development program has received over 100 inquiries from people interested in establishing their own fine grain businesses in the CBD.

Last week the Sydney Morning Herald reported that women are being attracted to small bars because they are safer and friendlier.


The Shout Team

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

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