Time Out Sydney

The beloved Oxford Street warhorse that's drawn 'em in for decades rises again

She's an old gal, but looks great for her age. One of the oldest gay palaces in Sydney, the Midnight Shift underwent a bit of a nip/tuck in 2015, and the upstairs dance club retained the name. Downstairs, meanwhile, is something entirely different. After years of what felt like rudderless stops and starts, she's been given a fresh overhaul and a new direction. Whereas there were once dancefloors, two bars and a row of pool tables for the blokes, now there's a large, pink-hued room featuring a bar, plenty of seating and a wall covered by photographs of denizens past and present – a salute to the generations who've made this a stalwart of the strip. What looks like the smoking balcony outside is actually a ciggie-free zone – instead, it's meant to be a patio for hanging out and watching the crowds walk by.

This is the spot for casual after-work drinks with friends, kicking off a big night or... well, whatever you want, really! On weekdays between 5-8pm, they serve $10 jugs and $9 cocktails. They now have a bar menu, and also do $9 caipirinhas on Tuesdays, drag talent competitions on Thursdays, drag shows on Fridays, house music on Saturdays and on Sundays, live vocalists and acoustic sessions. A bistro called 91 Oxford Kitchen and Bar is located next door and now occupies the eastern half of the old downstairs bar where punters used to enter the venue. 

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Updated on 2 Jun 2015.

Photos by Dream Syndicate   |  

The Shift Bar details

85 Oxford St, Darlinghurst 2010

Telephone 02 9358 3848

Open Upstairs club and lounge Thu-Sun 4pm-late; downstairs bar 2pm-late

The Shift Bar website

The Shift Bar map

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