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…

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