Indulge in an era of decadence and grandeur at Bartholomew's
King Street’s old Methodist Mission building has housed many businesses inside its walls since it stopped functioning as a church in 1987, including a theatre, a fine dining restaurant, and a beer hall.
Now, the historic building is home to Bartholomew’s, Newcastle's much-loved 1920s-style restaurant and cocktail bar.
Entering Bartholomew’s indeed feels like you’ve stepped back into the 1920s – chandeliers dangle from the high ceilings, bottles of spirits line the back wall, and tiered theatre-style balconies frame the space in a nod to the venue’s history. There just isn’t anything like it in Newcastle.
The grand architecture and hints of old-world glamour set the scene for a memorable experience at Bartholomew’s, whether you’re simply enjoying a few cocktails, dining on a three-course meal, celebrating your birthday with a function on the mezzanine, or watching a burlesque cabaret show.
The menu is full of contemporary takes on classic dishes, often taking inspiration from Italian and French cuisine, but the food remains approachable.
To start, order the Lamb Tortellini, which is stuffed with lamb and rosemary, nestled in pea puree, and topped with a parmesan tuile and mint emulsion, and follow it up with the Fillet & Mash, featuring prosciutto-wrapped scotch fillet, smoked mash, confit sweet potato puree, and broccolini.
Sharing your food or feel like a more low-key feed? Try the Beetroot and Leek Gratin with chive cream cheese and toasted walnuts, the Pan Fried King Prawns in a nduja and lemon butter with a blistered tomato and labna salad, or The Burger, with a house-made beef patty, bacon, spiced tomato chutney, Swiss cheese, paprika aioli, and sauteed kipfler potatoes.
If you’re heading into Bartholomew’s primarily for the booze, grab a few bites from the bar snacks menu, like the Chicken Wings with a whisky, ginger, and citrus sauce, or a cheese and charcuterie plate featuring Hunter Belle cheeses and house-made lavosh.
Whether you sit up at the bar or settle into a larger table in one of the tucked away alcoves, sampling the many whiskies, cocktails, wines, and craft beers on offer is a delight.
Feeling savvy? Make the most of Bartholomew’s specials throughout the week. Happy hour runs from 4pm-6pm each day and takes $2 off all tap beer, and house wine and spirits; $15 classic cocktails on a Wednesday and Thursday make for a midweek pick-me-up; and Sippin’ Sundays are for $10 Whisky Apples and cocktail specials.
Don’t miss the 2-course special on Wednesdays and Thursdays, with 2-courses and a glass of Andrew Peace wine or house draught for just $42.
And while Bartholomew's might seem like an after-dark-only spot, the restaurant’s $18 daily lunch specials are adding a little more luxury to your lunchtime. Highlights include the hand-rolled Potato Gnocchi with caponata and parmesan, and the Chunky Beef Pot Pie with slow cooked beef, root vegetables and whiskey jus with a puff pastry lid.
In case you couldn’t tell from the food and drinks offering, Bartholomew’s loves to entertain. Who wouldn’t in a building this grand? It means the team can host all sorts of events, from birthdays and hen’s parties to Christmas and engagement parties.
Room hire is free, and you have the choice between the ground floor, which can hold events of up to 300 people, and the mezzanine, which can host up to 150 people. There’s a wealth of options when it comes to canape and platter choices, drinks packages, and decorations.
Rather someone else hosts an event? Bartholomew’s has a stacked lineup of events year-round, from the Whisky and Craft Spirits Festival held each August, to Le Carnivale cabaret dinners, to Sunday Speakeasy, an afternoon of live music, accompanied by cocktail specials.
Regardless of why you head to Bartholomew's, you'll be left feeling like you've travelled back in time.