There’s a bar in Sydney that people talk about, it’s the one with the entrance via the Cola vending machine and Bobby’s Dogs takeaway parlour… You may have heard of it, it’s called The Soda Factory.

The Soda Factory recently celebrated its second birthday – and what a celebration it was! A firm favourite amongst Sydney’s social crowd – The Soda Factory never fails to deliver.

To celebrate the coming of age, we sat down and chatted to its founder and The Experience Group Director; Graham Cordery about the vision behind The Soda Factory, what’s next and his favourite Sydney haunts…


Q: How did the idea for Soda Factory come about?


A: I felt that there was room in the Sydney market for a venue with the decor & character of a small bar, but large enough to accommodate live music, and with a late license. This was the original idea and all the things that make The Soda Factory special, such as the pin-ups and American Diner menu, came later as we got closer to opening the doors


Q: What is your professional background? Have you always worked in hospitality?


A: My company, The Experience Group, was founded in 2003, and focussed primarily on running & marketing music events in Sydney venues, as well as touring international acts in Australia.  After marketing other people’s venues for many years, the natural step was to open my own.


Q: How would you describe Soda Factory?


A: A house party.  The best kind as we’ll clean-up for you.


Q: What’s your favourite thing about the bar?


A: Definitely the atmosphere.  A lot of love has gone into every detail from decor to the food and drink menus, and selection of staff etc – i think this really comes across in the atmosphere of the place and it’s got a really unique, welcoming vibe.   You’ll find a lot of quirky details & we’re also a little bit off the beaten track which means that the crowd we attract has come specifically looking for us and is passionate about what we do – this really carries through to the atmosphere.


Q: Any plans to expand?


A: Funny you ask that, we’ve just secured a site and have a fresh concept up my sleeve that we’ll be able to announce in the coming weeks. The whole team is very excited and it’s something quite new for Sydney.


Q: How did you forge the relationship with Grandmaster Flash and DJ Yella (who played at your recent 2nd Birthday party)?


A: I’ve booked and toured DJ’s and artists for many years and was contacted their respective management.  I think actually these US artists are hearing about our Hotdogs & Diner menu and it’s making The Soda Factory THE place to play haha.


Q: When not working, where do you like to hang out?


A: Sydney has so much to offer in terms of nightlife and hospitality – I’ve been enjoying Nomad, Movida and Mary’s lately for food, & if I’m down for cocktails I’ll head to Baxter or The Barber Shop .  The only issue right now in Sydney is lack of late-night offerings, so I always seem to end up at Soda in the wee hours!


Q: What’s next?


A: Other than The Soda Factory and the new venue, the team here at The Experience Group is hard at work developing an App for the Hospitality, Entertainment & Events industries, and we also have a few DJ & artist tours coming up late in the year.


WHERE:               The Soda Factory
16A Wentworth Ave, Surry Hills, NSW 2010


Mon – Thurs:     5pm – late
Fri – Sat:               5pm – 3am
Sunday:                6pm – late

About The Author

Lisa Hollinshead
Editor & Director

Boss lady over here at Social 101. Lover of all things that inspire creativity, individuality and happiness! Former party gal, now mama to a beautiful baby boy!

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