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Grandma’s Bar crew open The Wild Rover


If you like Sydney tiki joint Grandma’s Bar, you are going to love its Irish cousin.

The Wild Rover has opened at 75 Campbell St, Surry Hills, with an upstairs event space that can be hired out privately from Monday – Wednesday. Standing 50 and seating 30, event planners can bring in their own caterers if they wish to serve anything beyond the venue’s signature sausage rolls and oysters.

With a back bar loaded with rare whiskies, a warmth of décor and service that adds credibility to the Irish bent and a secret door vibe (you have to look closely to find it), The Wild Rover is a cosy new space in a corner of the city known for quirk factor.

The Wild Rover general manager Kim McDiarmid said, “The Wild Rover has a very unique and special feel. We wanted to create an environment that not only has ambience and quality products but also a place where everyone feels welcome. It has always baffled me how many bars, restaurants, stores and offices operate without placing emphasis on a simple ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye’.

“I lead a team of people who come to work, take pride in what they do and love a good old chat. It’s a bar where having a good time is paramount and the environment draws influences from Ireland cross New York chic in its warm, welcoming, rustic setting; plenty of timber, exposed brick and warm, comfortable lighting with splashes of elegance such as a copper bar top, chandelier and a bar stocked with products we not only enjoy selling but love drinking. It often transforms into a foot stomping, swash buckling jovial atmosphere. After all, it’s all about the craic.”

A ‘Wild Rover’ is a term used to describe wayward folk who spends lavishly despite not having the resources to do so and is also seen as being ‘life of the bar’. The folk song is played at last drinks each night and tells a story of someone who spends their money on whiskey, wine and beer – all of which The Wild Rover has an abundance of.

There are live Sunday sessions at The Wild Rover featuring rotating acoustic artists in the afternoon and moving into folk and bluegrass bands in the evening.