With candle sconces and your grandmother's flocked wallpaper (plus a groan-inducing pun for a name), Bar Racuda is a cosy space immediately opposite the Enmore Theatre. If you haven’t quite shaken a fondness for Cruisers, this is your new favourite bar, with the menu focusing on the sweeter end of the cocktail spectrum. Even the usually bitter-sweet Americano is sweet-sweet here, charged with lemonade instead of soda water.
They play fast and loose with their cocktail names at Bar Racuda: a mixture of Frangelico, vodka and cranberry juice is dubbed a Caprioska and the listed Martinis are as far from their namesake as Russia is from France. The limoncello and basil “Martini”, however, is a damn tasty drink, whatever you choose to call it. The aforementioned Frangelico “Caprioska”, however, is far too evocative of the syrupy-sweet concoctions served up at university house parties. The sangria jugs will give you bang for your buck (or, more accurately, bang for your ten bucks), made simply with good red, sugar syrup and a little cinnamon. If these don't sound like your kind of thing, there's a small but decent selection of wine and beer – but let's face it, anything's better than the tinnies of VB they're serving across the road in the Enmore.
There are a few bar snacks on offer, but you won't need to order any of them if you arrive between 6pm and 8pm, when the bar offers complimentary aperitivo – little snacks to nibble on in the Italian tradition. You can grab some bread, salami and olives, or go some warm zucchini frittata or fried cabbage. Coupled with the fact that most cocktails are just $14, you can get away very cheaply at Bar Racuda.
The drinks and nibbles are served up by attentive and friendly staffers, who give the place a very convivial atmosphere – although a little more formal than you’re used to encountering in this part of town. It all comes together to make Bar Racuda an ideal alternative to shuffling around on the pavement outside the Enmore before or after a show.