Sydney’s home of Nashville country music – Jolene’s – is celebrating its first birthday with a week of cowboy-fuelled fun.
From March 29 to April 1 it will be a festival of smoked brisket fries, live country bands and killer cocktails inspired by country music stars.
The driving force behind the bar’s success – owner and founder Simon Rose-Hopkins (above) – said the birthday party would be all about the guests.
“We appreciate every single customer who has walked down our stairs over our first year, so we wanted to thank them the only way we know how, by throwing one hell of a country party,” he said.
The week of entertainment and whiskey will build to the official birthday party hoedown on April 1, when Rose-Hopkins – famous for being at the venue almost all of the past 365 days – is taking the night off to celebrate with attendees.
“It’s my own birthday four days before Jolene’s birthday, and my wedding anniversary three days after, so I’m really looking forward to sharing a drink with our guests,” he said.
Doors open at 4pm on April 1, with live music from 6:30pm until 1am. Kicking the night off will be Ohio-born Charlie Finn followed by the newly-launched Jolene’s All-Star House band. The band has a rotating roster of talented musicians; the core line-up includes Lozz Benson, who has drummed for the likes of The Wiggles, Kate Ceberano, John Butler Trio and, most recently, was mentored by Keith Urban on The Voice; Duncan Toombs, who has played guitar for Kasey Chambers, Adam Brand, Lee Kernaghan and Adam Harvey, and he has also just released his debut album “Steel on Steel” which topped No.1 on the ARIA country charts; and Blake Dantier, an emerging songwriter recently nominated for “Best New Talent” and “Traditional Country Album of the Year” at the 2023 Golden Guitar Awards.
Sponsored by Young Henry’s, they will be slinging $5 tinnies during Happy Hour.
The birthday celebrations will continue all week long, with limited-edition birthday merchandise available and a new cocktail and food menu.
Each of the cocktails on offer pays homage to the iconic country artist booths that the venue is beloved for, including: Dolly Parton’s ‘9-5,’ Taylor Swift’s ‘Love Story,’ and Chris Stapleton’s ‘Broken Halos.’
The country music will also be running all week long, kicking off with country-singer Lucie Tiger (Wednesday night), Blake Dantier (Thursday night) and Bryen and the Bayou Boys (Friday night), giving all punters a healthy helping of classic country and western.
“At Jolene’s, we’re all about genuine hospitality. We take our service, whiskey, cocktails and food seriously, just not ourselves,” said Rose-Hopkins.