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New cafe brings the Hamptons to the city

Laura Peppas

If there’s any part of the city where the saying “watch this space” has been more relevant, it’s Hobart Place.

Nestled in a nook in the city, the area has all the promise of becoming a bustling hub but until recently has been under-utilised after hours.

That’s started to shift in recent months with uber cool underground bar Molly and now, Hamptons-style café 79 & Fine.

As the latest venture by Antony Arena and fellow hospitality stalwarts JJ Sadkowsky and Lorenzo Focarile, the café is set to revitalise the area with its funky New York influence, bright and airy space and outdoor garden area.

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JJ, who has previously worked for A Baker and Two Before Ten, says opening there was a no-brainer.

“I really loved the community feel around here, and because it’s so enclosed it’s tight knit – we’re smack back in the middle of the city but it doesn’t feel like the city,” he says.

“It’s nice to see things actually happening now, as it was far too quiet before. We’ve got a lot of people working in nearby offices who were asking for a café like this.”

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The café had its soft opening today with a coffee pop-up, and is tentatively set to open its doors for breakfast, brunch and lunch by Monday 9 May.

JJ says the menu will be contemporary Australian with a “New York” influence – think waffles, bagels and plenty of lobster.

“What we’re most excited about is a lobster and bacon roll,” says JJ.

“Because we’re a Hamptons themed café, lobster rolls are going off in the states right now, absolutely going crazy. I had one in Sydney a while ago – it was good, but I reckon we can do better.”

There will also be a juice and smoothie bar, and soups served during winter.

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With its white-on-yellow decor, cushions, lounges and cosy nooks, JJ hopes it will become a place to “escape.”

“If you look at Canberra, everyone tries to get away for the long weekend and heads to the south coast,” he says.

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Co-owner JJ Sadkowsky

“What do people in New York do? They go to the Hamptons.  So this is an escape, a kind of luxury in a high level of comfort.

“We want this to be relaxed, welcoming atmosphere. I don’t think of our customers as customers – I think of them as my friends who are coming to my home.”

the essentials

What: 79 & Fine
Where: 1 Hobart Place, Canberra City
When: 6:30am to 5pm Monday to Friday, 7am to 2pm Saturday
Web: www.79andfine.com.au

Photos by Martin Ollman

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Laura Peppas

Laura Peppas is HerCanberra's senior journalist and communications manager and is the Editor of Unveiled, HerCanberra's wedding magazine. She is enjoying uncovering all that Canberra has to offer, meeting some intriguing locals and working with a pretty awesome bunch of women. Laura has lived in Canberra for most of her life and when she's not writing fervently she enjoys pursuing her passion for travel, reading, online shopping and chai tea. More about the Author

  • Andrea Garcia

    I can’t wait to go to the new Hamptons-styled café! I recently relocated to Canberra and it’s heartwarming to see around connections to New York, a place where I lived for a long time and adore. From the “New York Nails Spa” in Civic to the “Metropolitan” apartments branded with what resembles the logo of New York’s Museum of Modern Art and the luxury “Manhattan”
    apartments on Bunda Street these are a few spots where Canberra meets and highlights the unique spirit of New York. The big pizza slices served at “I Pizza NY” was another iconic and delicious New York feature found in Civic. I was disappointed to find out that this place closed not too long ago. And don’t let me get started on the pink sunsets and the balloons festival… I guess if I keep searching, I would find connections between Canberra and New York in many other ways 🙂

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