The Junction’s Hidden Gem
I was about ten minutes into my conversation with Andy Bird, co-owner of Bondi Junction’s Spring Street Social with Roxy Chivet, when I realised I had already spent time in their moody establishment. It wasn’t so much a memory as it was a flashback; loud music, flashing lights, a girl’s face…
I think the reason it took me so long to come to the realisation was because Spring Street Social is no longer the debauched den that I visited in the early hours of the morning some years ago. Andy explains it took a fair bit of work to restore the bar to what it is now, an intimate, jazz-infused cocktail bar that transports you back to a long-forgotten era where great service, Tommy guns and good times were king.
The entrance is a discreet door hidden among a hive of shop fronts on (you guessed it) Spring Street, in the heart of Bondi Junction. You descend a set of stairs into a large underground area that is split into two spacious sections with three bars and two stages. The interior can best be described as 1920s shabby chic. There is a swathe of old pictures on the walls, candles, a generous amount of leather couches and chairs, and even two fish tanks.
Live music is what they do best. Sunday is reggae, Tuesday is soul hits, Wednesday and Thursday is rock and jazz. On Fridays and Saturdays the jazz morphs into ‘90s R&B. I already know what you’re thinking: ‘RnB Fridays is nothing new’. And you’d be right, but live R&B Fridays is. It was a school night when I visited, so I couldn’t witness this for myself, but Andy showed me some footage of a live rendition of Outkast’s ‘Hey Ya’ with the crowd singing along and it looked like a bloody good time.
Local band Gully Days have played a string of shows here over the past few months. There’s a huge stage in the back room and it’s easy to imagine guitarist Luke ‘Pookot’ Morris jumping down and weaving his way through the couches and bars, ripping his guitar apart as he rampages through all the little nooks and crannies that give the venue its unique character. Once restrictions are lifted, lead singer Ethan Eshuys will be jumping straight on your head.
There’s a mouth-watering Asian tapas menu on offer as well, featuring dishes like Spring Street’s signature pork sliders, duck and BBQ spring rolls, dumplings and my personal favourite the wagyu beef tataki, which is seared rare wagyu beef dressed in teriyaki and sesame chimichurri. Now that summer is here, fresh oysters, sashimi and sushi will be joining that list.
General Manager Juju is the main man behind the bar and he’ll whip you up one of his signature cocktails. Happy hour is from 4-6pm, so if you’re jumping off the train at Bondi Junction after a long day of bending over (or being bent over) a desk, you can kick back in a nice leather chair with a fancy drink in hand. If you’re sick of drinking buckets of Corona and listening to Top 40 hits, this is your go.
Spring Street Social
110 Spring Street, Bondi Junction (enter the rabbit hole under Fitness First)
Phone 8667 5395
Open Daily 5pm-2am
Prices Duck & bbq pork spring rolls $14, Pork slider, pork floss, five-spice mayo $16, Wagyu beef tataki, asian chimichurri $18