Tag Archives: North Sydney

The Exchange for singles

23 Feb

The Exchange Hotel
94 Beattie Street

Percentage of surveyed men who were single: 80%

Percentage of surveyed men in a relationship who have single friends: 100%

Meat-o-metre: Connect with men over great conversations which will hopefully lead to dinner dates.

Prime time: Friday and Saturday nights

Crowd: Smaller crowd of straight, laid-back locals enjoying jugs of beer downstairs or cocktails upstairs.

Wing-girls: Maximum two. The space upstairs is quite intimate. You don’t want to overwhelm it.

Wears: Chic casual

Top tip: Upstairs is generally booked out for functions on a Saturday night. If no one’s at the bar, you’ll need to stay downstairs or move on.  

Like a Gemini, The Exchange has two distinct personalities. Downstairs is casual and familiar. Local lads relax with a beer, play pool or challenge each other to an arcade game. Upstairs is lush and loungy. Grab someone’s attention by sipping a martini in killer heels. The pub doesn’t attract the same volume of locals as other places because of the function rooms, but the crowd is relaxed, friendly and unpretentious. Men attending functions still use the main bar, so don’t write the evening off until you’ve conducted a full talent appraisal. It’s worthwhile mingling downstairs before investigating the crowd upstairs.


Ages of single men:
<20: 0%
20-30: 75%
31-40: 25%
41+: 0%

Professions: Sales, engineering, property management, IT

Interests and hobbies: Socialising; sport; film/movies

Clubs: Tennis; golf; ALF

Values: Family and friends (75%); career (50%); happiness/success (25%)

Cross Pollinate: The Oaks Hotel; The Pickled Possum

Best ‘burbs: Balmain; North Sydney suburbs (Kirribilli, Neutral Bay, Crows Nest)


Single studs in the inner west

18 Jan

The Nag’s Head Hotel
162 St Johns Road

Percentage of surveyed men who were single: 73%

Percentage of surveyed men in a relationship who have single friends: 100%

Meat-o-metre: Connect with men over great conversations which will hopefully lead to dinner dates.

Prime time: Friday and Saturday nights

Crowd: Slightly older crowd of locals who enjoy live music, sport and catching up on neighbourhood news.

Wing-girls: Two or three of your liveliest friends. You’ll either be celebrating with a victorious team or lifting the mood. 

Wears: Give your heels the night off. Don’t overdue it or you’ll stand out in the wrong way.

Top tip: If it’s quiet, head around the corner to the Forest Lodge Hotel where people tend to move on to.

If Glebe was a share-house, this pub would be its lounge room. Local men gather, as they have for years, to relax with mates before a short stumble home. The large, island-style bar is the most popular place to sit, making it easy for you to slide in beside someone and start a conversation. Local sports teams, particularly football and hockey, regularly gather for post-game bonding. If you find some good sorts, suss out where the next game is so you can cheer on the team. Cover bands play on the weekends. Catch someone’s eye by enjoying yourself on the dance floor.


Ages of single men:
<20: 0%
20-30: 25%
31-40: 62%
41+: 13%

Professions: Sales and marketing; accounting; engineering; IT; science/research; sports

Interests and hobbies: Sport; socialising/drinking; dancing/women

Clubs: Cricket, hockey, cigar

Values: Family and friends (86%); social life/work/alcohol (25%); love/money/happiness/sport/education (13%)

Cross Pollinate: The Courthouse (Newtown); The Oaks Hotel; Forest Lodge Hotel

Best ‘burbs: Glebe; Balmain; Darlinghurst

When the working day is done…

5 Jul

When you’re a 30-something singleton, it’s easy to become despondent, especially during winter. You see the 20-somethings trotting around on Friday nights in their short dresses and non-bulky coats, trying to keep warm as they wait for taxis to whisk them off to a club you have no desire to visit. And you think,

I can’t be bothered. It’s freezing. I don’t want to risk pneumonia for the sake of exposing flesh.

By the time we’ve hit our 30s, many of us are dealing with more responsibility, and often more stress, at work. If you’ve had a busy workday, you’ll probably feel like a quiet, cosy night with a few friends instead of big night out involving a effort on your part. The problem is though, you can end up missing out on a bit of fun and silliness.

I’m the first to admit I’m guilty of Crimes Against Fun and Silliness. Between a busy publishing job, survey guys, blogging, finishing a novel and seeing family and friends, frivolity is frequently de-prioritised. But I’ve noticed that a night of lighthearted fun often gives me a much needed mood-boost. Even if it involves a late night, I usually have a lot more energy for my many schemes the next day. And I think I’ve finally realised why this is.

Every now and then single ladies need a bit of obligation-free flirting, just to remind them that they’re women. Even if you know nothing is going to eventuate for whatever reason, a bit of male attention can really warm up a cold winter night. I saw this happen a few weeks ago when I grabbed a mid-week drink in the city with three wing-girls. Two of them were well into their second bottle when I arrived. Sitting with them was a good-looking guy who they’d started chatting to and had invited to join them. There was no way that anything was going to happen with this guy. He was nice, funny, cute and friendly. But he was also a good decade younger than us and had made mention of his girlfriend  (in fact he was running late to meet her…clearly not great boyfriend material!). And even though the conversation didn’t have a particularly strong sexual undercurrent, we all enjoyed a bit of a casual flirt. When we finally went our separate ways, we did so with big grins.

So I thought I’d share with you a few places I’ve mapped that are perfect if you’re looking to meet guys without the pressure of a hardcore meat-market vibe.

The Monkey Bar, Balmain 

Percentage of surveyed men who were single: 69%
Percentage of surveyed men in a relationship who have single friends: 100%
Prime time: Friday and Saturday nights
Crowd: Straight, fashionable, crowd-conscious guys who are ready to flirt.
How many wing-girls you should take: As many as you like but don’t create an intimidating crowd.
What to wear: Glam casual
Top tip: Catch the post-work crowd on Friday then stay for the later-comers. 

The Monkey Bar is true to its name. It’s definitely a bar, not a pub and for singles, it’s a playground. Although it’s known as a place to pick up, don’t be put off. The men are friendly, fun and usually not sleazy. The light-hearted mood makes it perfect for flirting. Catch the locals after work on a Friday, then stay for a dance. As the music gets louder, more and more non-locals will join you on the dance floor. Be careful not to get tucked away upstairs or at the short end of the bar. Just like in real estate, location counts!


Ages of single men:      
20-30: 27%
31-40: 27%
41+: 46%

Professions: Corporate strategy, engineering, trade, customer service, entertainment, finance, IT, science and technology
Interests and hobbies: sport socialising, travel, water sports and music   
Men who socialise here also like hanging out at: The London (Balmain)   

The Marlborough Hotel, Newtown

Percentage of surveyed men who were single: 77%
Percentage of surveyed men in a relationship who have single friends: 100%
Prime time: Friday and Saturday nights
Crowd: Blokey, live music lovers. Younger crowd upstairs. Student nights during the week.
How many wing-girls you should take: As many as you like. The space is big enough for all your friends.
What to wear: Casual downstairs, sexy casual upstairs
Top tip: Chat to guys before the music starts so you’ve got a reason to dance with them during the set. 

The Marly is layered with possibilities. At street level, the boys are ready to appreciate live music over a beer. It might be too loud for conversation but bonding over a favourite song is a great way to make new friends. Venture upstairs to the Level One cocktail bar for more sophistication. If someone takes your fancy, lead the way downstairs to The Cellar where the lighting’s low and the leather couches are perfect for getting better acquainted. Check the website for events like State of Origin screenings. They’re sure to bring in the boys!


Ages of single men:      
<20: 10%
20-30: 50%
31-40: 40% 

Professions: Sports industry, media defence, engineering, finance, IT, community services
Interests and hobbies: Socialising, sport, drinking, sex, watching tv              
Men who socialise here also like hanging out at: Clock Hotel, AB Hotel

On the other side of the Bridge, try The Oaks in Neutral Bay. I’m yet to map there but every time I’ve been we’ve met heaps of nice guys, particularly playing pool.

If you’re not in the mood to go out on a cold night, you might prefer to stay in and check out this fab website I stumbled on: Men In This Town. It’s a fashion-focused journal of men in Sydney. A lot of the shots are candid, which I think makes them fascinating. Enjoy!

A single girl celebrates

3 May

Hello lovely reader peeps,

This week will be a post-less week (other than this one!) because it’s Birthday Week and I’ve decided to give myself the week off. Drop by next week to read my interview with BarZine’s Dan Kaufman. As the expert of Sydney’s bar scene, Dan shared with me some really interesting ideas about how different bars can help you meet new people.

If you’d like to give me a birthday present, please vote for me in the Best Australian Blogs competition. It’ll only cost you a few minutes and I’ll be oh so grateful!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to finish eating an enormous cupcake…

manMap likes cake

PS. A very happy birthday to my cousin! 🙂

It’s raining, men!

19 Apr

manMap enjoys a man-ly downpourOne thing I really enjoy about being in my 30s is not feeling pressured to go out and have big weekends. Spending my non-work time surveying random men has seen my alcohol intake plummet dramatically. I was always a light-weight. Now I’m a feather-weight. And I don’t bounce back like I used to. But I don’t feel the need to go out and have vodka-fuelled party nights anymore, so it doesn’t worry me. Plus, a whole day on the couch recovering feels like a waste of a precious day.

Unfortunately, this is a double-edged sword. Every now and then, particularly when it’s pouring (with rain, not booze), I feel like I deserve a night in. My internal dialogue goes something like this:

“You never just relax and do nothing. You’ve worked hard all week. If you have an quiet night in, you can get up early and hit that huge pile of surveys you’re hoping will magically insert themselves into your enormous spreadsheet. The couch and the DVD player miss you.”

And while we all need some downtime, staying in means we’re not meeting anyone new or (for those of us who live alone) socialising at all.

When I was in NYC, nothing stopped me going out to explore: not the freezing temperature, jet lag, lack of sleep, snow, the fact that my boots were being held together with superglue. In Sydney, the sky can cloud over and suddenly going out seems like a major effort. Excuses come thick and fast and fantasies of hibernating seem both wonderful and achievable. But I know that if I give myself a little shove and go out, I can have a great night either with friends or mapping. By picking a venue that’s comfortable and cosy, the colder weather is no longer an issue. So in the hope that I can help you get motivated, despite our long summer days being over, here’s a list of five winter venues filled with single men who are waiting for you to warm up their night:

The Oaks Hotel
Although The Oaks has a huge courtyard, there’s still a maze of rooms inside, particularly upstairs. Make sure you don’t block yourself off in one of the smaller rooms, or guys won’t feel comfortable coming in. Rooms with pool tables are great, because you can always challenge the guys to a game.

Town Hall Hotel, Balmain
Almost entirely inside, other than the verandah, this is a popular venue for buck’s nights on Saturdays. If you’re up for some friendly flirting, this is the perfect spot. Friday nights are also fun with the local crowd.

PJ Gallaghers, Drummoyne
This pub attracts lots of the sporty guys who live in the Drummoyne area (and there a tons!). If a big footy game’s on head elsewhere, unless you’re happy to join in and bond over barracking.

The Hero of Waterloo
This small, friendly place can get pretty crowded on Saturdays, making it easy to bump into guys. The live classic rock near the bar gets people on their feet. It’s easier to mingle in this area than the room around the corner with tables and chairs, but do a recon lap because anyone sitting down will need to come to the bar at some point.

The Fringe Bar
Drawing a crowd that reflects its name, The Fringe is the perfect winter venue for the creative and the cool. While you might be a little intimidated if you feel you don’t belong, after a few drinks (or just one in my case) everyone’s more relaxed and happy to enjoy the night.

If you’d like to help spread the word about My manMap, please vote for me in the Best Australian Blogs Competition by clicking the big blue badge (or brooch as I like to think of it) on the righthand side of the page. It’s quick and easy and muchly appreciated!

If music be the food of love…

24 May

KaraokeSince the dawn of time music has been love’s tool. If you listen to commercial radio, almost every song you hear has something to do with love…or sex at the very least.

Music offers women a huge range of opportunities to connect with men. There’s something to suit every mood and budget. At concerts and gigs you’ll have at least one common interest with fellow attendees, festivals draw massive crowds and encourage you to move around and mingle, live music in local pubs attracts non-locals and karaoke builds a certain camaraderie.

I can imagine some of you thinking:

Karaoke? Thanks, but I can do without the public humiliation.

The good thing is, you don’t need to get behind the mic to reap the benefits.

Head to any pub with karaoke and you’ll find three sets of people: hardcore karaoke lovers who work the Sydney circuit, locals who enjoy a beer and some light entertainment and passers-by who are drawn in by the music. All these groups have members of the male, straight and single variety. You’d be surprised by how many men love their 3.5 minutes of limelight on a Saturday night.

Approaching guys at karaoke is easy. Make sure you’re around when your eye-candy steps into the spotlight, so you can sing along and cheer him on. Then all you need to do is wander over and say, ‘You sing really well,’ or (if he didn’t), ‘I love [insert band’s name]. What’s your favourite album?’

If you’re a good singer, karaoke is the perfect opportunity to stand out. Don’t overdo it though, keep it light. Karaoke tends to attract a fun crowd that can laugh at itself. Remember the scene from My best friend’s wedding? No one cares if you’re not Alicia Keys. Guys will be more attracted to women with a good sense of humour than to pitch-perfect prima donnas who take it too seriously.

If you’re not confident or vocally talented, a good strategy is to take along a wing-girl who does sing well. I have a number of friends who are brilliant at belting out a tune. Often their talent has ended with me chatting to a nice guy who’s come up to pay tribute to the performance.

Karaoke might not be the most glam or classy way to spend your evening but if you get into the spirit, it is good fun. If you’re lucky, you might find someone to serenade you.

My top five Sydney karaoke venues are:

  1. The Edinburgh Castle, CBD. Saturdays from 8pm. Good mix of ages, lots of friendly, single guys.
  2. The Attic, Unity Hall Hotel, Balmain. Thursdays from 9pm. One of my friends got together with her now husband during a Unity karaoke session.
  3. Kelly’s, Newtown. Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 10pm. Attracts people from all over the inner west, along with a decent serve of Irish guys ready to take on U2.
  4. Pickled Possum, Neutral Bay. I have a feeling karaoke starts as soon as they open. The limited space in this iconic little pub means you’ll definitely make some new friends.
  5. Covent Garden, Haymarket. Fridays and Saturdays from 8.30pm and Sundays from 5pm. A slightly older crowd blended with out-of-towners and post-concert goers needing a beer after an Entertainment Centre event.