The Cauliflower Hotel featured on broadsheet.com.au
Rumba, rum and a lounge deck shaded by palms.
Published on 20 October 2016
Your new rum ritual starts now.
After a year-long renovation, the old Cauliflower Hotel has reopened with a new identity. It was established in 1838 and husband-and-wife team Justin and Pippi Drew bought the pub in 2014. They immediately got to work mapping out a fresh new concept.
“When we took it over it was an old-man’s pub and girls wouldn’t feel comfortable. It was all TAB down the back of the beer garden, we pushed all the gaming out and made it private,” says Pippi Drew. While it contains some of its original character, it is now a thriving pub for all walks of life.
The popularity of premium rum is rapidly growing in Sydney, and this hasn’t gone unnoticed by the Drews. Lobo Plantation and Kittyhawk have helped to create awareness of the nuances of the spirit, and the Drews are determined to continue their work.
Upstairs a former three-bedroom apartment has been transformed into a laid-back St Lucian rum-focused cocktail bar, The Forgotten Cask. For those whose idea of rum ends with coke, this cocktail bar wants to change that and open your eyes to the novel ways it can be enjoyed.
The bar is a platform to showcase brands sold by Justin’s alcohol-distribution company including Forgotten Cask, Admiral Rodney and Chairman’s Reserve Range.
There is a Caribbean theme to the venue, from the palms and the grass roof, to the vintage posters of rum lining the walls. The cocktail bar extends into the lounge deck and out onto the tropical-inspired rooftop terrace.
Unsurprisingly, all the cocktails are named after pirates. Signatures include The Captain AA, a twist on your Dark and Stormy with spiced rum, habanero chillies, lime and ginger. There’s also the Bonnie and Reed with Amaretto, macadamia nut, coconut water and lemon. Or just grab a coconut.
The food offering is a playful take on Central and South American dishes, but pub classics such as steak and chips and schnitzels are on the menu, too. There is a spicy jerk-chicken sambo; fajitas with ancho chilli con carne, guacamole and salsa criolla; and tacos with Southern American spices. On the weekend there are eggs with avocado, frijoles, adobo sauce and tortillas. And breakfast tacos with scrambled eggs and guacamole. The menu is available upstairs and downstairs.
Downstairs the vibe is completely different. It’s a themed rock bar with local, live music every Saturday and Sunday afternoon. Aspiring talents, such as Jack Pellow, and award-wining musician Rai Thistlethwayte (of Thirsty Merc), will play the indoor-outdoor beer garden. Expect rumba nights in the future.
Read article here.