The Cumberland, an underground speakeasy bar with a vast whisky collection opens in Manly.
The Cumberland in Manly is a prohibition-inspired drinking den, an underground speakeasy by owner, Matt Clifton. The venue is a boutique deli featuring a small selection of Mediterranean cured meats and cheeses located along Central Avenue. Step through an antique fridge door and wind your way down a spiral staircase and into the basement bar.
Deriving its name from the Parish of Manly Cove in the County of Cumberland, the bar is a nod to the history of the now Northern Beaches council area on which the venue stands.
In paying homage to the bygone era of the Manly area, the venue is designed to transport patrons into another time and place. Ornate and vintage furnishings, including marble bench tops, hand carved sandstone blocks, original convict clay brickwork, reclaimed timber and a series of antique brass and copper accents are some of the features of the hidden bar. A handmade leather banquette seat wraps the walls of the intimate 70 seater venue while an original set of 1902 brass beer taps has been sourced for the bar.
General Manager Pete Ehemann is bringing his experience of over 12 years at Merivale’s Ivy, Hemmesphere, Level 6 and Coogee Pavilion to the sophisticated speakeasy. The bar features an extensive selection of over 250 local and international whiskies along with a signature cocktail offering inspired by classic techniques and local botanicals. His extensive themed cocktail menu co-designed with creative consultant, Petr Dvoracek brings the history of the County of Cumberland, with themes including locally ‘Foraged and Found’, ‘Pre-Temperance Movement Favourites’, and ‘19th Century County Tipples’ from Sydney and surrounds.
‘Foraged and Found’ includes a Dandelion Espresso Martini and a Wild Fennel Calling with foraged fennel from a region near Sydney’s Centennial Park. Prohibition-themed classics include the Sazerac and French 75 while the ’19th Century County Tipples’ include a wool-themed Camden, a take on the classic vodka martini made with sheep’s whey vodka and served wrapped with sheep’s wool from owner Matt Clifton’s family farm. The Cumberland is the signature whisky cocktail served in a smoking cloche and there’s a locally inspired Pickleback, a swig of whisky chased with pickle brine to accompany a platter of cured deli meat.
Click through the following pages to view a selection of images of the venue and cocktails at The Cumberland.