What is a Sly Grog?

Although we are a fully licensed entity and a private club…we liked the spirit of Sly Grog.  Just like the ancient Agora, the corner store, the stoop, the barbershop and all the informal places in the world that people create in their neighborhoods, Sly Grog is a place to meet, talk, sing, play, exchange ideas and get to know each other.

6 years ago Sly Grog came to me in a dream as the name for our little wine and beer store….

it turned out to be already be a name for an Australian speakeasy, unlicensed hotel or liquor-store, often found in the communities of sheep herders or outposts in the Australian outback.

Sly Grog Lounge has evolved over the years into a bar that lived as part of The Downtown Market as a place for customers to have a drink and then shop at our multi-vendor eclectic marketplace filled with cool stuff.

Now we have evolved to being a a bar all on it’s own, with a small store Foxy & Company cramped with cool stuff, including musical gear, strings, tuners, circuit bent instruments and toys, clothing, jewelry, and other weird stuff we think ya’ll will love. We also do instrument repair and modification. 

We invite all kinds of music, performance, spoken word, story telling, theater, fashion shows, meet ups, CRAFTINESS and just generally a place for people to meet and co-conspire life.  We are a home for creators and doers to be energized and have a platform to put forth ideas and art that promotes positive ideas that will inspire and foster community spirit and small is beautiful thinking!

victorian circus1

The Australian slang term ‘sly-grog’ combines two older English slang terms:

(1) ‘on the sly’, meaning “in a secret, clandestine, or covert manner, without publicity or openness”.[1] James Hardy Vaux’s Vocabulary of the Flash Language (1812) defined the term ‘upon the sly’: “Any business transacted, or intimation given, privately, or under the rose, is said to be done upon the sly“.[2]
(2) ‘grog‘, a Naval term originally referring to a rum and water mixture.  In the Australian context ‘grog’ was used to describe diluted, adulterated and sub-standard rum.  In the early decades of the Australian colonies ‘grog’ was often the only alcoholic beverage available to the working classes.  Eventually in Australia the word ‘grog’ came to be used as a slang term for any alcoholic beverage.


The term ‘sly-grog’ evolved into general usage in Australia during the 1820s.  An early reference comes from the Hobart Town Gazette of 18 March 1825: “We therefore felt convinced that in the sequel they would altogether decline applying for licenses, whilst many of them would become sly grog-men to the manifest injury of Government”.[3]

One thought on “What is a Sly Grog?

    Anonymous said:
    July 23, 2019 at 2:50 am

    lol k


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