Feature: The Evolution of the Bar at the End of the Wharf

Date posted: 3 May 2019Author: STC

Did you know that The Bar at the End of The Wharf was originally just the north end of a cargo warehouse, and a fully enclosed space? There were no picture windows, no balconies, and certainly no beer until STC’s renovation of The Wharf in 1984.

Since then, a visit to Sydney Theatre Company has been a uniquely Sydney experience, featuring some of the best harbour views in town. The Bar is much-loved by our audiences, and intertwined with their theatre experience.

The Wharf during the 1984 renovation, showing the windows being cut out of the building for the first time. (Photo: Viv Fraser)


The Wharf post-renovation showing the new bar and restaurant space, 1984. (Photo: Max Dupain)

In 2012, the bar underwent renovations to accommodate for an expanded kitchen and a more casual dining experience. Designs by STC’s then Resident Designer Alice Babidge saw the addition of white tiles behind the bar and the glowing EAT & DRINK signs which have become synonymous with the space. Christened The Theatre Bar at the End of The Wharf, it quickly became a great social hub: a place to meet before or after the theatre, or to simply hang out and enjoy the view. The relaxed space boasted great baristas, a beer and wine list heavy on local options, and sharing plates best enjoyed with friends. 

STC Artistic Directors at the time, Andrew Upton and Cate Blanchett, said, “The Bar at the End of The Wharf will undoubtedly improve the experience for everyone who comes to STC, whether they are seeing a show, attending a rehearsal, having a meeting or just hanging out at one of Sydney’s most beautiful spaces.”

The Bar at the End of the Wharf after its 2012 renovation. (Photo: Mitchell Duncan)


The Bar at the End of the Wharf after its 2012 renovation. (Photo: Mitchell Duncan)

Fast-forward seven years and the needs of company have evolved once again. Sydney Theatre Company is in the midst of its Wharf Renewal Project, with the aim of making much-needed improvements to the audience and theatre-making spaces at The Wharf. The renovated  Bar area will retain the much-loved character and important heritage aspects of the original building, while also offering expanded function spaces, new accessible public entries and access to the harbourside promenade. These enhancements ensure that STC can continue to offer a great experience for all our visitors.

We can’t wait to welcome you for a drink in the Bar soon!

Artist's impression of the new Bar at the End of the Wharf. (Image: © Doug & Wolf)


Artist's impression of the new Bar at the End of the Wharf.  (Image: © Doug & Wolf)