Ben Cooper

Group Innovation Director M&C Saatchi Sydney. Co-Creator O Six Hundred Kayak. Proud father. Loving husband. British.


6 things I miss in Surry Hills

January 16, 2010

So I’ve worked in Surry Hills for four years, specifically that bit around Reservoir, Foster and Commonwealth Streets, sometimes called SOGO (South of Goulburn St – terrible acronym I know). Firstly with HOST and most recently The Population.

In that time I built quite a bit of local knowledge, from my favourite places for coffee, breakfast and lunch, to where to buy books, gifts and even getting a wedding ring made. I haven’t moved far, Redfern, but it won’t be as accessible as before… so here is my ‘to do’ list for a bit of Surry Hills I’ll miss:

1. Single Origin – quite simply the best coffee, vibe and people.
Nick feeds your belly with amazing food, Gav spearheads the barista’s and the caffeine that fuels your day and Carly welcomes you with a smile and amazing eyebrows. I started everyday of my working life in Surry Hills here.

2. Published Art – inspiration in hardback and softback.
I visited Sharon and Published Art long before working in Surry Hills. Take time to flick through the pages of a photo, design, architecture or illustration books, buy some ‘one off’ art for your walls or grab a ‘cool’ card for someones birthday. Published Art ws a staple distraction on lunchtime wonders or when I’ve needed to take my brain on a stroll.

3. City Edge – memory man and the best sandwich selection.
If you work in the area and buy your lunch at City Edge then Tommy, the friendly face, will not only know your name but also the nuances of your preferred sandwich. Whether it’s brown bread instead of white, a J9 juice, or grilled chicken instead of a schnitzel. City Edge was my ‘grab and run’ lunch forever. Here’s to Tommy and the gang, may they continue to teach the world the wonders of customer service, that keep you coming back for more.

City Edge on foursquare
Join: I ‘heart’ TOMMY’s – the Facebook group

4. The Wall – sanctuary and reading space.
Good coffee, people and tranquility if you need some ‘me time’ or to think through work. Kranksy sausage sandwich is unbelievable whilst you flick through some ‘trendy’ mag that you wouldn’t necessarily buy. Sit by the window, or in the ‘pit’ to watch the locals.

5. Dominic McCabe – fine fella and jewellery
Dom was a neighbour when I started at The Population, 46 Foster St. We’d nod heads, say hello etc. Then I decided it was about time I asked Rachael to marry me. So I enlisted his services – firstly on an engagement ring, she said yes, and then my wedding band.

6. The Hollywood – unaffected, consistent and beer
Being a married man now I haven’t fallen out of here for some time. But it was a regular Friday occurrence… The Hollywood remains unchanged since I started propping up the bar, probably 6 years ago. I hope it stays that way.

Worth a mention: Bangbang (boiled eggs and marmite soldiers, plus the scottish breaky has ‘tatties’ and ‘black pudding’), The Cloakroom (mens tailoring, Grenson shoes and things – yet to purchase – but will at some point), Spring Court sneaker shop (french cult classics, worn by John Lennon and me!), Herringbone outlet (118 Commonwealth St, shirts etc)… and of course the brilliant and spicy, Spice I Am.

I’m yet to really explore Redfern and the surrounds… sticking to Baffi & Mo’s (you really can’t go wrong) for coffee and lunch (try the haloumi fritters and the burger). Any tips greatly appreciated…

Category: whatever
Comments (12) Add yours ↓
  1. Allen

    Totally random but I miss Surry Hills too! Each time I come to Sydney, I stay there and HATE to leave. And I've been to most of the places you mentioned. PS found you via Twitter. How's 3 drunk monkeys? I'm a CD at Wunderman in Canada.

    January 15, 2010
  2. mrtruffle

    City Edge is great. I miss their kin chi chicken.

    Also Single Origin used to sell great pies. The gado gado, lamb Guinness were all special (told from someone who doesnt drink coffee). their hot chocolate was normal

    January 16, 2010
  3. benhamin

    hey Allen, thanks for the comments. 3DM is going well thanks… really happy to be the otherside of the holidays as I'm finally getting stuck in, 2010 is going to be a good year. How is Wunderman and Canada?

    January 16, 2010
  4. benhamin

    The pies are ace! nicely pointed out… you well?

    January 16, 2010
  5. Mitch O'D

    Ah I wish I didn't read this, has left me feeling homesick as I sit here in cold grey London. Could kill for a single origin flat white. And an good old s7 from Tommy and team.

    January 16, 2010
  6. Allen Kwong

    Things are good here. But the industry is still feeling the recession with budgets cuts and rumors of retrenchment at various shops. It's the middle of our winter so freezing cold. Have any great new Australian creative work to share? I need some inspiration this week. -or else –

    January 19, 2010
  7. Allen Kwong

    PS are FOOD GAME and CAFE LOUNGE (on Goulburn) still around in Surry Hills?

    January 19, 2010
  8. twocreativesponges

    Great list! and great timing as well, I read this today before packing to fly down from Brisbane tomorrow. Myself and the wordy part of our junior creative equation are down to kiss some hands and shake some babies at a few agencies around town so we'll be sure to work through a few of these places.


    January 28, 2010
  9. benhamin

    Happy new year, me old mucka… trust all is well in London town. I'll eat a S7 as a tribute!

    January 28, 2010
  10. benhamin

    are you coming to see us?

    January 28, 2010
  11. benhamin

    Not sure about Food Game, but Cafe Lounge is…

    January 28, 2010
  12. twocreativesponges

    Ah we'd love to! But haven't been able to materialize an appointment as yet, though captain recruiter is on the case. Regardless we'll be lurking around Hollywood with drinks after all this running around in the sun.

    January 29, 2010

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