There’s an excellent host of small, boutique bars and restaurants in Wollongong and Howlin’ Wolf is one of our favourites. Quicksand Food’s Director Stefan Posthuma sat down with owner Luke Symons to chat about the town’s evolving after dark scene, and both Wollongong locals shared their late-night itineraries for drinks, dinner (and drinks again) in the region.
SP: “The Throsby is a great place to get started, a relaxed wine bar with a beautiful courtyard. When it’s warm, it’s a lovely spot to kick back with an Aperol Spritz before dinner. They’ve also got an epic and ever-changing wine list.”
LS: “If you want something upmarket, you can’t go past LevelOne at Harbourfront. They do a phenomenal cocktail and have a cracking view to match. If that’s not your thing, Kneading Ruby has a great vibe, it’s relaxed, you can make a bit of noise and just enjoy yourself.”
SP: “If you’re looking for something cheap and cheerful, there’s an excellent selection of Asian restaurants in Wollongong that let you BYO for free. It’s a nice way to save a bit of coin, especially when you’re in a big group and want to let loose a little at dinner. You can have a great feed with drinks for about $30 per person.”
After Dinner Drinks
LS: “After dinner, I’d probably head to Humber, a rooftop bar where you can sit and look over the Wollongong CBD. Or I’d come back to Howlin’ Wolf to smash a few negronis until midnight.”
SP: “It has to be Howlin’ Wolf. Such a great selection of beers, spirits and cocktail – and the vibe is always awesome. The guys behind the bar look after you, and they’ve often got live music. If not, they’ve got one of the best (and corniest) playlists to belt out a few anthems once you’ve had a few drinks.”
Late, Late Night
LS: “If you want somewhere to kick on until the early hours, we usually head to Heyday. That’s up the other end of town, and they do a great selection of cocktails and spirits. They’re open until 2am and are an after-hospo favourite.”
SP: “These days, I’d be hitting up Night Parrot. It’s a new wine bar on Crown Street owned by the same people behind The Postmans in Thirroul. It’s a gorgeous little space, and they do great handmade dumplings and little plates until late.