Bondi has got a new kid in town, and it’s exactly the sort of place you’ll want to stroll to in swimmers, post-dip. Glory Days is the latest venture to open at the newly restored Bondi Pavilion (and is neighbours to Promenade Bondi Beach) overlooking the glorious famed stretch of sand. Open for breakfast and lunch seven days a week (we’re told a booze licence shouldn’t be too far away), the new café is by Aaron Crinis of the Good Atelier (the team behind Glorietta and Glory Days Coffee, both in North Sydney, and the Woolpack in Redfern).
Inspired by the vibrant food culture of Venice Beach, CA, Crinis says he wanted to recreate a spot like that in Bondi, while tapping into the relaxed Eastern Suburbs lifestyle. Local collaboration is important to Crinis, who uses Pepe Saya butter, Double Rainbouu for the team’s uniforms and Stitch for coffee, and says he wants to “build a community for locals first and foremost.”
The kitchen is helmed by Damien Hyde (Café Sydney, Watsons Bay Hotel and the Boathouse Group), who has created a menu with beachside dining in mind: think fresh, approachable and tasty. Post-surf, start with a coffee, green juice or smoothie – we like the sounds of the ‘sunrise’ with mango, blueberries, coconut water, passionfruit and coconut yogurt. Pair with the Glory Days brekky: scrambled eggs, sourdough, pork and fennel sausage, bacon or tomato; or the Cali classic pancakes with maple syrup, banana and blueberries. The avo on toast, here served with pickled ginger, apple, herb salad and a squeeze of lime is (almost) too pretty to eat. There’s also an all-day and lunch menu which features rainbow bowls, including a soba noodle salad with whipped tofu, edamame, and soy pickled cucumber; a prawn linguine with chilli and prawn head butter; and a beachside club sandwich with bacon, chicken, avo and lettuce, served with a side of potato chips.
You can spot the new café a mile away, thanks to chocolate and vanilla umbrellas – the colours reminiscent of Paddle Pops enjoyed in the sun – dotted around the alfresco dining area out the front. Inside, designer Samantha Ellinson from Cox Architecture wanted to pay homage to the summer houses in Mallorca, as well as the nostalgic feeling of a summer holiday. Red, green, peach and tan tones evoke memories of European beaches, and there’s a long communal travertine table in the middle for reading the weekend paper. Pops of fun – a pineapple plant; the menu, which takes you back to laminating circa primary school days; coastal snaps by Australian photographer Adrian Mesko; two fringe statement lights; the vanilla and chocolate slice tiles – adds to the warmth of the place, independent of the sunshine. Waiters sport white T-shirts with the phrase ‘Every day vacay’ on the front, and we gotta say, sitting here at Glory Days, we kinda agree.