Angus Bell Young

What’s the appeal behind launching venues in Sydney’s Inner West? This one’s easy. We do Inner West venues because we live there and we love the neighbourhoods, the food and the people — it’s just the best.

The Sunshine Inn, The Little Guy and Enmore Country Club share warm service and great products. The Sunshine Inn is a restaurant and bar whereas Enmore Country Club and The Little Guy are both neighbourhood bars.

The branding for Enmore Country Club was a collaboration between me, Dynn Szmulewicz and Zachary Godbolt [Creative Director of Doom Juice]. We’ve always loved Zach’s graphic design work. He’s been working on the graphic design of our venues for many years now and is also a close friend. We wanted to create something that felt retro, but didn’t hit you over the head. We like the tongue-in-cheek ‘country club’ vibe, but strive for inclusivity rather than exclusivity.

The inspiration behind the drinks is again vaguely ’70s and retro-inspired with a heavy focus on drinkability and fun. We go Australian products where we can and stock local beers and plenty of natural wine. There’s a couple of light bar snacks such as seasonal cheeses and olives plus the Country Club sandwiches. The Sunshine Inn’s Head Chef Lizzie Tillett came up with the recipes and they’re made at a chicken shop a few doors down.

We hope our guests feel welcome and have a good time when they come to our venues. We really try to have something for everyone. It can be a quick drink or something you can sit on for a while, but it also means [catering to] all types of palates
and tastes. Whether it’s a cheap tinnie, a cold tap beer, a nice wine or a niche cocktail, we try and consider it all when we build our drinks lists and food offerings.

Good neighbourhood bars are the backbone of the hospitality industry. Everyone loves a local watering hole and it’s nice to go somewhere and be treated like you are valued. In big venues, I think that can occasionally get lost a little. There is also something authentic about neighbourhood wine bars. There is always a person behind them who has done their time in the industry and is branching out and having a crack at doing their own thing.