This stylish little cigar bar boasts a bar, terrace and loft room. And, unfortunately, too many pokies. It's come to be a refrain of the pubguide, even among our marginalised, pokie-playing reviewers, that yes, sometimes, pokies can be horribly out of place. As indeed they are here. The hype says "DJs, cigars, cocktails, Darling Harbour, style, panache, grace." Unfortunately the hype neglects to mention the huge (by proportion) pokie lounge. Sure, I'm here on a night with no DJs, no punters and no style, but it's a bit of a let-down, really, to see this much space given over to these horrors of pubdom.
Pubs and bars have to make money, and at the end of the day, the pokie epidemic is not the fault of the pubs themselves in most cases. Frankly bizzarre government policies are the major problem here, effectively forcing many pubs and bars to ditch their principles and climb into bed with the devil or face financial starvation. Damn you, policy makers.
However, I digress. I come to review Cohibar, not to bag Bob Carr, to paraphrase some famous playwright or other.
Cohibar has a sense of superiority. It's situated up above the madding tourist crowds with a balcony overlooking Darling Harbour itself and looking down on both Jordon's and Watershed, with a discreet rear entrance by which tired shoppers at the Harbourside Centre may gain some respite from the crass commercialism that is Darling Harbour shopping. Which is not to say commercialism stops at the door, of course. Bacardi and Jose Cuervo branding notwithstanding, I could get to like the place not for what it wants to be, but what it IS tonight, which is a quiet little bar free of excessive noise and clutter, with friendly staff and a certain style. I actually quite like it. Of course at weekends, it's a completely different story, so please yourself.
Bottled beer only, cocktails and champagne, low lighting, cigars and a good view. not too bad. Aside from what I've already mentioned, that is. Unfortunately to my eyes the place is stuck netween two worlds and unlikely to make an escape in the current climate. Too slick in concept for the proletariat, too marginalised to truly cater for the elite, Cohibar seems to me to be a bar in limbo experiencing an identity crisis. As I've already mentioned, it's different at weekends.
review by: Jason