Bar Copains

Top Wine Bars Etc
  • Wine glass icon
    300+ wines, with a large catalogue of back vintages from unique producers.
  • Fork icon
    A strong French influence with a large amount of snacks.
  • Dollar icon
    Small to medium plates, $8 - $26. Large plates, $38 - $52.
  • Music notes icon
    Hip Hop, Disco, Easy Rock, Soul
  • Folding chair icon
    32 inside – including 6 at the bar – plus 28 outside.

The lowdown

The impressive personal wine collections of chefs and close mates Nathan Sasi and Morgan McGlone form the backbone of this small Surry Hills bar, with more than 300 bottles offered in the company of irresistible French-inspired snacks and share plates.

The regular’s tip

Regulars love to sit either at the bar or the small round euro tables inside, but on a nice sunny day with a cool breeze, the outdoor tables are in high demand – and from the food menu they keep ordering anchovy crostini, pigs head fritti and the King George sambo, finishing off with Amaro creme caramel.

The nuts and bolts

  • Chilled vibe, good beats
  • Food designed for sharing
  • Suitable for smaller groups
  • Children under 10 are not allowed in the front bar to maintain intimate atmosphere
  • Natural and conventional wines – something for everyone
  • Front bar has a noisy vibe. Outside and the ‘backroom’ is very “chill”.
  • Venue has extra wines off the list.

Chefs Nathan Sasi (Nomad, Mercado) and Morgan McGlone (Sunday, Belle’s Hot Chicken) became firm friends when their professional paths crossed in 2010, and had long harboured a dream to open a small wine bar together, to present bottles they had been squirreling away in their personal wine collections. Copains, which means “friends” in French, is the eventual 60-seat neighbourhood wine bar in Surry Hills they launched in 2023. “It’s a pretty simple concept; good snacks and good wine shared with good friends,” says Sasi.

They had strong ideas to build on. Sasi created Leigh Street Wine Room in Adelaide, focusing on natural wines to accompany his creative food. Now he’s working with sommelier and bar co-owner Christian Robertson to present an inclusive list of more than 300 wines, including a huge catalogue of back-vintages. “We showcase classic and modern Australian producers who make nothing but tasty wine, regardless of it being natural or conventional.”

The snack-laden menu carries a European style with a strong French influence, with dishes including Bluefin tuna belly with soy and mustard dressing, pickled kohlrabi, fermented chilli and fresh horseradish, or crisp eggplant served with tomato jam and salted ricotta. “Some people love to come in for a few small snacks and a glass of wine, others will fill their table with all the shared plates and a good bottle – or perhaps they’ll opt for the set menu. The thing we love to see the most – and it happens a lot in our venue – is when two adjoining tables are strangers at the start of the night and end up sharing a bottle of wine and dessert together as great mates. That, for us, is the Midas moment.”

Music frames the experience, with the soundtrack curated by Nathan that encapsulates genres from Hip-Hop, Disco to Easy Rock and Soul. “You’d be surprised how many times a night we are asked for the playlist.”

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