Tuesday 17 September
The jig is up. The Cumberland, Manly’s new underground speakeasy has opened its (fridge) doors within the newly established Cove Deli, located at 17-19 Central Avenue. The boutique deli, featuring a small selection of Mediterranean cured meats and cheeses is a fully functioning establishment in its own right, however its authentic antique fridge opens onto a spiral staircase that leads to the prohibition inspired bar beneath.
Down below, the sophisticated basement bar serves a selection of over 250 whiskies, natural wine, craft beer and an extensive themed cocktail menu designed by Merivale veteran and general manager, Pete Ehemann and creative consultant, Petr Dvoracek. Each cocktail has been designed to hero the history of the County of Cumberland, with themes including locally ‘Foraged and Found’, ‘Pre-Temperance Movement Favourites’, and ‘19th Century County Tipples’ from Sydney and surrounds.
From those featuring locally sourced ingredients, highlights include a Dandelion Espresso Martini and a Wild Fennel Calling with personally foraged fennel from a region near Sydney’s Centennial Park. On the prohibition themed classics, you’ll find a Sazerac, a French 75 and more, while the 19th Century County Tipples include a wool-themed Camden, a take on the classic vodka martini made with sheeps whey vodka and served wrapped with sheep’s wool from owner Matt Clifton’s family farm. Even closer to home is the Cumberland, the signature whisky cocktail served in a smoking cloche and the very locally inspired Pickleback - a swig of whisky chased with pickle brine - the perfect pairing to a platter of cured deli meat.
Cove Deli is the star of the food offering, with a selection of signature boards showcasing the range of cheeses, Spanish cured meats and antipasto available for sale at the store above. A vintage dumbwaiter has been custom designed for the space to transport provisions from the deli to the bar. Another small kitchen within the downstairs speakeasy is responsible for producing a tapas menu that includes melted raclette, Spanish meatballs, duck terrine and empanadas.
Designed by AZB Creative and conceptualised by Donny’s and In Situ owner, Matt Clifton, the two spaces are a stylish and sophisticated step back in time. The mysterious 75-seater hidden bar features a series of ornate and vintage furnishings, dark mood lighting and luxurious leather banquettes while the European inspired Cove Deli is an upscale bodega, accented with a white-washed teal facade, penny tiles, a central glass display cabinet and a 1920s fly-wheel meat slicer.
Cove Deli and The Cumberland are both open for trade 5pm - 12am Sunday to Thursday and 5pm - 1am Friday and Saturday. And yes, that means you can purchase a midnight cheese wheel to go.