Naomi’s day in Darlo
Edition Coffee Roasters is a pretty special café. Not only is it beautiful to be in – all mid-century-style Nordic furnishings, white walls and wide open, galley kitchen – but the food is a fusion of Japanese and Nordic vibes, with a bit of French thrown in for good measure.
The shop works as a platform for local designers’ works, such as Jeff McCann’s hand painted cardboard jewellery or Eggpicnic’s childlike galah prints and gift cards, but owner Jess Polaschek is also an advocate for after-hours events so the space hosts workshops, talks and exhibitions to encourage shoppers to the laneway.
It’s all sticks all the time, here at this tiny Japanese yakitori restaurant built on the old Jazz City Diner site. You want heart pipes? Liver? Gizzards? Gristle? They’ve got 'em, along with plenty more protein that isn’t quite so gutsy. The meats are grilled over white charcoal and served over piles of roughly chopped raw white cabbage.
Jewellery designer Clara Ho handcrafts men’s jewellery under the name Burton Metal Depository. She works out of her concept retail store on Foley Street called Fine Fellow, which sells men’s fashion, accessories, homewares and gifts. You can expect to find locally-made products, from Peggy and Finn’s floral print cotton ties to minty beard oil by the Groomed Man Co.
Marina Roorda used to make and sell brogues and leather boots to order from her Blacktown home, but nowadays you’ll find her custom shoe and clothing designs at her workspace-cum-retail store in Foley Street. Roorda now goes by the name Bermuda Black and the colour scheme is muted dark tones. At the store you can watch Marina at her worker’s bench as she crafts leather belts, and minimalist suiting for men and women.
Ariel Booksellers has always lived on Oxford Street, but in 2017 the store relocated from its Paddington address to a smaller store wedged between Big Poppa’s and the Work-Shop Makery in Darlo. Though the space is smaller than the original store, they still stock beautiful coffee-table tomes, as well as fresh fiction, non-fiction and books specialising in fashion, film and poetry.
Owners Rebecca Frost and Christian Orso make one-off men’s, women’s and children’s clothing by hand, using reclaimed and repurposed materials. Their store Spunky Bruiser – on Foley Street – specialising in sustainable and ethical fashion that has been customised with stencilling, applique techniques.
Pocket is one of the city’s original small bars and still offers plenty of reasons to visit. The bar staff are knowledgeable, on the ball and can whip up a cocktail deserving of its price tag. Add a soundtrack that flips between the Preatures and the Searchers and an extensive drinks menu and you have a delightful package worthy of a space in Sydney’s ever-expanding bar scene.
Scattered plants and cosy wooden tables in the courtyard make the Commons a summer hot spot within the 2010 zone, but the bar’s sandstone rooms are where it’s at all year round. Come Wednesday or Thursday night when a blues band plays Downtown. Live music turns this place into the best underground bar in the hood.
We don’t need to tell you how much Sydney loves a rooftop bar, and the top floor addition to the East Village Hotel (previously the Darlo Village) is an A-grade, lofty drinking perch. It’s not a huge space, so arriving before the crowds is always a smart plan of attack.