St Ives has welcomed its first small bar with open arms. Even on a frosty evening the outdoor tables are in high demand. The bright lights and stereo are cranked up inside, but outside there are mushroom heaters to keep hypothermia at bay and tunes from Triple J darlings like the Temper Trap, Boy and Bear and Lana Del Rey make a spot-on boozing soundtrack
As the nights go from pleasantly brisk to seriously chilly, fortify yourself with a glass of mulled wine. It comes in a sweet little teacup, complete with saucer – a disarmingly innocent receptacle for its potent contents. A heady mix of spices cuts through the sweet, velvety wine and they have chosen to leave the orange peel out of the mix, which results in a more subdued winter drink.
This place is a wine bar first and foremost. There are forty wines on offer, half of which are available by the glass, including a certified organic rosé from Orange and an organic chenin blanc from New Zealand winery Crazy by Nature. There are seven house pours for seven bucks a pop, so finding a wine you like that won’t break the bank is just about guaranteed and if you are keen to get into unfamiliar territory the Italian and French wine lists are fertile ground for a boozy, Euro trip.
It is well worth paying some attention to the craft beer list while you are here. They stock the After Battle pale ale from local microbrewery Ekim in Mount Kuring-gai as well as Mr Sno’balls from Scottish brewery Harviestouns – a crisp, bitter, English pale ale that is just the ticket if you are all wined-out. Add an Icelandic pilsner, a Swedish cider and a few interesting domestic and Kiwi brews to the list and you’ve got the makings of a mini craft beer festival at your disposal.
The young bar owners, Grace Treanor and Ailsa Brennan, have had a hand in designing every element of the bar, from the interiors and wine list through to the menu, and what they lack in experience they make up for in sheer enthusiasm. The food is quite ambitious for a small kitchen and can be a little hit or miss – wafer-thin slices of carrot, sweet potato and beetroot, baked into crisps make great bar nibbles, but the baked manchego comes in a hot citrus broth that feels a little like someone has knocked a drink into our food. At the end of the day you can't go wrong with the cheese and salumi plates on offer – order something familiar and you’ll be laughing.
They may not have everything down to a fine art just yet, but Super Bon is only young and the local crowds are ensuring that business remains good. We reckon there’s something exciting about people throwing caution to the wind and opening up that new bar/music venue/collective instead of just talking it up over a schooner. Perhaps the key to Sydney’s late night revival will turn out to be as simple as harnessing the fervor of youth.