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Tuesday 13 September 2022

Now Sydney has a dedicated negroni bar

The world is awash with wine bars, whisky bars and even absinthe bars.

Now Sydney has a dedicated negoni bar with the opening this week of Bar Conte, with 20 versions of the classic aperitivo.

The many versions of the cocktail will be found at 340 Riley Street in Surry Hills under the guidance of co-owner Raffaele Lombard and his partner Victoria Hampshire.

Bar Conte aims to bring the culture of the Italian aperitivo to Sydney and while the bar will focus on drinks, it also has a short menu of Italian snacks and share plates.

“I have dreamt of this concept for the past 10 years," says Lombard. "The negroni is my drink of choice, and has been since I was a young man growing up in Sorrento on the Amalfi Coast.

"It's bitter, strong and clean - the ultimate pre-dinner drink. We felt it deserved its own dedicated bar.”

Bar Conte will feature a range of Italian and Australian vermouths.

"The temperature and the quality of the vermouth is what makes a good negroni," Lombard says. 

"Growing up in Italy, our family homes were always stocked with vermouth, and on special occasions I would be able to try them.

"Thirty years on, I have grown to love those flavours, there is so much nostalgia and many memories for me when it comes to vermouth.”

Lombard is serious about beer, so there is also a rotating list of five European beers (mostly from Belgium), Italian wines (orange, white, and red varietals), and sparkling offered by the glass and bottle.

The 38-seater venue features bold Italian film and drinks artwork on display. Bookings are now open with walk-ins available on a first-served basis.

Check out from September 14, or phone (02) 7254 1170 for bookings. 

Images: Steven Woodburn

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