The Edwards

Newcastle West
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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.

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Venue name: The Edwards
Contact:
Address: 148 Parry St
Newcastle West
2302
Opening hours: Tue-Sat 7am-midnight; Sun 7am-10pm

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