There’s no shortage of places to grab a drink in Newtown, and now joining the ever-growing list of bars and pubs are two hospo veterans who have joined hands to bring a new multifaceted concept to town. Dre Walters (Clarence Street bar) and Swan Kanongataa (Longrain and Zeta Bar) have swung open the doors to their latest venue smack-bang in the heart of King Street. Huelo is their latest offering and it’s an intimate cocktail bar that’s part general store, part speakeasy. Even better, it’s open late on Friday and Saturday nights.
Housed in a two-storey building, you’ll find a general store out front with ceramics, sardines, truffle oil, pasta, Nonna’s passata and other pantry items sourced both locally and from around the world.
Out at the back and hidden behind a door is a tiny 12-seater tropical speakeasy cocktail bar that opens into an intimate courtyard. An upstairs bar is in the works which will open later in the year with more room for larger groups and events. As for the menu, you can expect everything from small plates to seasonal wines plus deli sandwiches, fried squid po-boys and more.
Huelo translates to ‘sun rays’ in Tongan, encompassing Huelo’s warmth and hospitality and an ode to Kanongataa’s Tongan heritage.
“If the General store is old world, then our hidden cocktail bar is Miami tropical glam meets New York brasserie. The cocktails are fun, imaginative, and delicious,” Kanongataa said.
To kick things off in style, the bar is doing a happy hour where you can score oysters for $2 and magnums of champagne from 4–6pm. Head here for more information.