Enjoy a taste of Palm Springs on Hunter Street
When we think of kicking back with a cocktail in hand while the sun shines outside, followed by partying into the night, Palm Springs certainly comes to mind.
Now, with the opening of Charlies Rooftop, you can live out your Palm Springs daydreams right here in Newcastle.
The new bar and restaurant will transport you to a 1960s, mid-century modern paradise, and its buzzy atmosphere will have you lingering into the night.
The name Charlies Rooftop is an ode to the Racquet Club of Palm Springs, a venue started by actor Charles Farrell that was once a party hotspot for Hollywood’s elite, including Marilyn Monroe.
The brainchild of Jerome O’Connor and Sam Earp from Uptowns Bar, Andrew Woodman from Bar on the Hill, and Travis Malone from Newy Constructions, Charlies Rooftop has already garnered plenty of attention with locals.
The group had always talked about wanting to do a bar together, and when The Rum Diary Bar’s space on Hunter Street became available, the wheels were in motion.
“We came and checked out the space and thought it could be amazing,” Jerome said.
That was just over six months ago – the resulting change from dark, moody rum bar to light, bright, and Palm Springs-esque required a massive renovation job.
“We just came in and started painting. It was just weeks and weeks of painting.”
Once the space had been painted, it was time to start adding those mid-century modern touches. There’s a fabulous vintage turntable stand, funky prints adorning the walls, custom orb pendant lights on the terrace, and a tiger statue standing guard atop a sideboard.
There’s plenty of pops of pastel, too, and even fake grass lining the floor of the terrace. The result is a distinct vibe on each level of the space.
“Downstairs is cosy, upstairs is more open, and then the terrace is a bit of paradise. People couldn’t believe it when we opened that up.”
As a whole, Charlies Rooftop is fun and playful – it’s not taking itself too seriously.
On the drinks menu, you’ll find refreshing cocktails like a Lemoncello Spritz and a Strawberry Caipiroska, plus local Hunter Valley wines like Usher Tinkler Rose and Brokenwood Semillon. It’s not convoluted, which is the approach the team has taken with the food menu too.
“The creme de la creme of the whole operation is our chef Blake Dyer. His approach to food here is fresh, modern Australia. Not over complicated, just keeping the ingredients fresh in every dish.”
We love the amount of share plates on offer – order plenty, and get social as you devour your food.
Menu highlights include the chilli and nori salt squid with yuzu ponzu sauce; torched corn cobs with harissa mayo, manchego cheese, and fresh lime; and chipotle chicken tacos, topped with charred corn salsa and mojo verde.
Don’t skip over the mains list either, perfect for an intimate yet relaxed dinner.
Open Wednesday through to Sunday, with DJs soundtracking Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays with house music, Charlie’s Rooftop is the place to forget about reality for a while and pretend, just a little, that you’re partying it up in Palm Springs.