Our Mission To Become one of Sydney’s Best Wine Bars
Come hang out a while in one of Sydney’s most beloved wine focused venues.
It wasn’t so long time ago that getting a decent glass of wine in Sydney was a feat of skill. For all of our airs and graces our beloved Sydney’s social foundations rest squarely on pub culture. Pubs have been our congregating point for the majority of our celebrations and so we’ve been raised in the presence of pokies, schooners, and the odd glass of chateau cardboard chardonnay served strictly in an RSL style glass.
Then sometime in the early noughties we came to the realisation there was more to life than schooies and sport on the big screen. A few enlightened individuals, inspired by our European counterparts were bold enough to open venues dedicated to the noble pursuit of drinking wine and making conversation, where interesting varietals for faraway places were served by the glass, accompanied by food designed to be shared and to complement the wine.
Once we acquired a taste for wine bar culture our thirst for the experience exploded. Not that we shunned our beloved pubs, we just chose to share our love with our burgeoning ranks of small bars, wine bars, and speakeasy style joints devoid of the one armed bandits but overflowing with quality grape juice.
Enter the original Firefly
The first Firefly opened on the waterfront in Walsh Bay back in 2004 and was one of Sydney’s very first small wine bars at a minuscule 40 seats. The idea was simple; keep the menu for both wine and food streamlined to work in a small space, but give guests more choice by offering most wines by the glass and keeping dishes smaller and shareable so they could sample more. This idea ruffled a few feathers – Australians didn’t know how to share food back then outside of a Spanish restaurant. In fact we used the the word ‘tapas’ to help guests understand how things worked.
Firefly Neutral Bay opened in late 2008, retaining the sharing idea with a cosy vibe and lots of wine by the glass but in a bigger space. We’re pleased to say it’s been a success; here we are nine years later serving a rotating list of twenty five wines by the glass to a thousand thirsty guests every week.
So many wine bars… how to stand out?
It’s no secret the wine bar revolution is entering maturity in the major capitals of Australia. One can find a decent cosy spot to sip something nice with ease and now we expect if not demand a high quality offering that ticks all the boxes.
What is it that brings our guests back to Firefly time and again? Certainly we have a beautiful venue friendly knowledgeable service, comfort classic share food and a punter friendly wine list but we reckon its the little things we get right that make us greater than the sum of our good bits. Little things like remembering we’re a locals place – a home away from home (or work) where you can hide in the corner for a few hours with a good book for company and a perfect negroni in hand.
We welcome everyone for all experiences -maybe that’s a cup of tea, or maybe it’s a single malt whisky. We always try to say yes, because making our guests feel good is more important than being pompous or standing on tradition.
Speaking of which, we definitely aren’t pompous about our wine list – we don’t bother with technical wine speak because wine is simply sunshine in a bottle and it’s ultimate purpose is to bring us together and help us to relax and have fun.
Conspiring to bring people together
Perhaps this is the secret sauce that keeps guests coming back. We like doing stuff that brings our guests together. We do this in sneaky ways like keeping our tables close to each other so you have to talk to your neighbour or introducing you to other guests to start a conversation. We also do it in more obvious ways by hosting wine tasting nights so you can meet with your winemakers and mingle with newfound friends. We know it’s less about the food and drink and more about being in the presence of other cool people. And that’s our job to make that happen.
Not to mention the wine list itself
In our quest to be one of Sydney’s best wine bars undoubtedly the compendium of wine needs to be first rate. We are proud of our list which is has its own style and stands out from the rest in a few key ways;
We love pinot noir – we have more than fifty pinots on our list and we usually pour five pinots on any given day. Pinot is the most noble of grapes. Appreciate it as we do and we’ll be friends forever.
We mostly support Australian growers and makers – Right now is the most exciting time in the history of Australian winemaking with the mantle being passed to a new generation of winemakers doing fun, interesting delicious things with a diverse array of grape varietals from many regions. It’s not that we don’t love good wine from the Old World, it’s just that we would mostly prefer to be a part of the Aussie movement.
We don’t care about trends. You won’t find stinky oxidised hipster wines in our lineup – just well structured, lip smacking quaffable juice – which is always in fashion and always great drinking.
We will challenge you a little. Tried Assyrtiko, fiano or ugni blanc? We gently urge you to pass on the cougar juice, spread your wine wings and fly high.We have loads of wines by the glass and they are changing all the time. We mean it when we say you will never have a boring wine moment at Firefly!
We don’t need to convince you with our words when you can try Firefly for yourself. The next time you’re overwhelmed with a craving for good conversation and a glass of something special pop over to visit us.