The owner of Donny’s is a country boy hailing from rural New South Wales, and his bar in the northern Sydney suburb of Manly has a bit of the farmyard barn about it, although thankfully not the smell. Interior design firm Luchetti Krelle has recalled those rural roots in a number of features at Donny’s Bar; we have the chicken wire fencing that obscures the intrusive parts of the venue’s sound system overhead, and something similar protects the staff in the open kitchen from the ravenous hordes on the other side of the counter.
The bar downstairs is made of reclaimed railway sleepers that have been lashed together with ratchet straps, and it’s topped with a lovely polished copper top that zings against the weathered wood. A mezzanine level set back from the entrance opens up the space to its full cavernous effect, accessed by a metal spiral staircase. Such industrial touches are the other side of this coin: Edison bulbs glow nostalgically all over the place, and there’s some impressive retro plumbing on display in the loos, if you’ll pardon the expression.