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The Edwards

Newcastle West
The Edwards

Former Silverchair bass player Chris Joannou has teamed up with barista and café owner Chris Johnston and designer Tim Leveson to convert Joannou's parents’ old drive-in laundromat into a big, friendly, bar-restaurant-café. It’s an airy, laid-back, concrete-floored place filled with round and square tables, black steel chairs and chuffed Novocastrians. Evidence of the venue’s former function can be seen in the light fittings – they’re cylindrical drums salvaged from industrial dryers – and the beer taps, fashioned from an old laundry press.

Those taps dispense a changing roster of blue-collar brews (Coopers, Reschs) and the odd craft offering (Young Henrys, Murray’s Moon Boy golden ale). The cocktail section of the bar whips up Amaretto Sours and Caprioskas for $16 a pop and the wine list favours organic drops from the Hunter. Food is hearty, wood fired and smoked: a plate of crisp-skinned roast chicken comes in half ($18) or whole sizes ($34), or you could bring a posse and go a whole shoulder of lamb with kipler potatoes for $36. If you stop by for brekky you can pair your eggs and toast with the likes of bacon, mince, black pudding, creamed corn and wood-smoked rainbow trout.

The venue’s large drive-though area is used for cultural events ranging from exhibitions to Idea Bombing. A little coin-operated laundry is planned for the front of the building, so don’t be surprised to see locals arriving for a big evening with baskets of unwashed shirts in their arms. And the name? It’s in homage to 19th century English anthropologist Sir Edward Burnett-Tylor, who pioneered ideas about cultural evolution. It makes sense: indicators of Newcastle’s evolution into a fun, liveable, progressive city don’t come much more obvious than the Edwards.


Venue name: The Edwards
Address: 148 Parry St
Newcastle West
Opening hours: Tue-Sat 7am-midnight; Sun 7am-10pm
Static map showing venue location