Australia Calling: Sydney's new independent class

Apr 15, 2010


If there’s one thing that constantly irks creative types in Sydney, it’s the difficulty of getting new projects off the ground. Luckily, there’sa new breed of independent entrepreneurs who are refusing to quit come red tape or cost.

Shady Pines Saloon is a little piece of Texas in back alley Darlinghurst. Its original name, The Swillhouse, might have been red carded by licensing officials but that hasn’t stopped the place from serving an impressive variety of whiskeys and canned beer across a wonderfully sturdy bar since early March.

When Three Eggs Caf shut down in North Bondi no one imagined such a cosy reincarnation. Porch and Parlour is currently full of Penguin Books, paper cards, Happy Socks and organic cotton t-shirts. It’s set to expand into a cafe mid-April with a gallery space not far behind.

Locals were talking about Newtown restaurant Bloodwood before the doors even opened – and with good reason. What’s not to like about polenta chips with gorgonzola dipping sauce, salt cod brandade and lamb kibbeh? The house bloody Mary is also reputed to satiate even the fiercest opponents.

Dion Kovac ran the seminal Sydney boutique Our Spot for years before rising rents pushed his business online. Happily, his well-cut range of Rittenhouse, Claude Maus, Dior, Superfine and Comme des Garcons found its way back into the real world as One of a Kind. The tiny store just off Burton Street in Darlinghurst also stocks hard-to-find publications and select furniture.

Independent finds

Shady Pines Saloon
256 Crown Street, Darlinghurst.

Porch and Parlour
100-102 Brighton Boulevard, North Bondi.
+61 2 9300 0111.

416 Kind Street, Newtown.
+61 2 9557 7699.

One of a Kind
114 Burton Street, Darlinghurst.
+61 414 617 450.

The Thousands are weekly online sub-cultural guides to Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth, which are updated daily with a filtered selection of exhibitions, shops, bars, cafes, gigs, books and music. The cream of this crop is emailed free every Thursday, arriving in your inbox with a ‘ping’. Find out what’s what in your city here

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