Mystery bar number 29
The previous mystery bar required a couple of clues, but The Sifter eventually recognised it as the Piano Bar at Whitby's, on the 17th floor of the James Cook hotel. It's fresh from a quarter million dollar refurbishment, which has given it a fairly bland international style, and I've got the feeling that some people have nostalgia for the good old days of underage drinkers, scary hookers and blind pianists.
This week's mystery bar is more of a café or restaurant, since it does breakfast but no cocktails (or breakfast cocktails, for that matter). The magazine racks and the prominence given to the very shiny espresso machine emphasise the café side of things. But plenty of people last night were there just for a drink, and well, it just feels like a bar. It's casual but very slick, with excellent food and a small but tasty wine list. Given the owners' pedigree and track record, one wouldn't expect anything less.
It's not the only great little café/bar around, but it has at least one little point of difference: table football. Okay, so one table doesn't exactly turn it into Bar Kick, but it certainly helps make it a bit livelier in the evening. I got the feeling, however, that the two middle aged couples seated next to the table didn't quite share our enthusiasm for the small but beautiful game.