Local Legends: OTIS BAR

For the first of the ‘Local Legends’ posts, I thought I’d write about my favourite venue in Wollongong; the Otis Bar, on Crown Street.

Only a relatively new addition to the local nightlife and music scenes, the Otis has nonetheless quickly established itself as a classy, relaxed, upmarket venue in its own right. Whereas the vast majority of Wollongong venues fall into one of two stark categories – ‘nightclub’ or ‘pub’ – the Otis lies, in terms of aesthetic, somewhere in the middle of these two.

The small size of the Otis creates a sense of intimacy and warmth, with comfy couches lining the walls, and a large – and, it must be said, well-stocked – bar. It’s a spot to indulge in a quiet drink, but maintains a classy, sophisticated feel that’s hard to come by in Wollongong.

In terms of music, the acts hosted by Otis Bar largely reflect its image; acoustic, folk and jazz acts are the main fare of the Otis, the bar’s small size again creating an intimate atmosphere suited to these sorts of music. Otis also plays host to some of the smaller, ’boutique’ bands that pass through Wollongong; sell-out crowds have enjoyed performances from Matt Corby, Kyu, Grace Woodroofe and Guineafowl, acts that would have been passed over – or been horribly out of place in – most other local venues.  The bar is almost always packed out when there’s a band playing, and the sound quality is really excellent.

All in all, a wonderful and unique venue; classy and sophisticated, yet warm and welcoming, and a great place for live music.

Otis Bar, Wollongong
226 Crown Street (opposite Subway)
For gig information, see In Spite of the Weather’s website or Facebook


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