Earl's Juke Joint


Join Sydney's favourite Newtown Hotspot Earl's Juke Joint in welcoming The Black Pearl (Melb), Australia's most awarded bar, to celebrate their 20th birthday! Expect a greatest hits menu from the Black Pearl and Earl's teams, snacks from local chefs, tunes from Shantan Wantan Ichiban, an instant 360 degree photobooth and plenty of great memories! This is the party you do not want to miss!

When: Wed 14 Sept, 5pm-late


From the outside, Earl’s Juke Joint looks no different to Betta Meats, the business it took over in 2013. The tired-looking striped awning is still there. Ditto for the window banners hawking Top Quality Meats and Continental Smallgoods.

Behind this cheeky façade, a rollicking bar honours the juke joints of the Deep South – informal and rustic, with a little bit of loud music for dancing well into the night. It’s named after Earl Palmer, a New Orleans drummer credited with creating the backbeat for rock’n’roll.

At the long bar, you’ll deal with a pleasingly concise drinks list. There’s a mix of beers such as Resch’s on tap and Samuel Smith, Young Henrys and others in bottle. The wine list features a selection of natural and skin-contact bottles alongside more traditional labels.

Cocktails, though, are the highlight at Earl’s – no surprise given it’s owned by Shady Pines Saloon alumnus Pasan Wijesena. Like any good bar the list changes frequently, but the line-up tends to favour dark spirits such as bourbon and rum. The popular Espresso Diabolique is a robust mix of bourbon, espresso, chocolate, orange and cinnamon, served on tap.

The spacious fit-out echoes the Southern sentiment perfectly. Dark timber floorboards for heel stomping; a tin-covered ceiling for acoustics; and walls adorned with posters of blues legends, lit by Art Deco-style lamps to set the mood. Palmer would have loved it.


A neighbourhood bar at heart, but with global reach, Melbourne's Black Pearl is a Fitzroy institution, making its name over 18 years as a training ground for some of the industry's best bartenders. A concise list of interesting cocktails, a noteworthy craft beer offering, and its bar food menu have all earned it a regular place in The World's 50 Best Bars and the Best Bar in Australasia award in 2018.