Little Black Book

The Artsy Insider’s Guide to Sydney’s Emerging Chippendale Neighborhood

by Emilya Colliver
Emilya leading tour in chippendale. Photo courtesy of Culture Scouts.

When she was in Australia for VividSydney, Fathom founder Pavia Rosati spent the day exploring the emerging Chippendale neighborhood with Emilya Colliver, an art curator who founded Culture Scouts. From galleries to cafes, Pavia had such a great time, she asked Emilya to recreate a virtual itinerary for Fathom readers.

SYDNEY – Chippendale is one of my favorite areas in Sydney. What was a slum at the beginning of the 20th century characterized by abattoirs, breweries, and gangsters is now an area of urban renewal full of incredible architecture, heritage buildings, street art, and internationally recognized contemporary galleries. My young family lives just down the road, so we’re locals. But despite frequently visiting when I lead Culture Scouts walking tours through the neighborhood, I find myself discovering new little gems with every outing. Here are a few of my favorites.

A Street Art Painting by Fintan Magee in Sydney.
Fintan Magee is the artist behind this incredible painting. Talent on every street. Literally. Photo courtesy of Culture Scouts.
An art exhibition at Vandal Gallery.
An exhibition at Vandal Gallery. Photo courtesy of Art Pharmacy Consulting.
Welcome to Redfern.
Welcome to Redfern. Photo courtesy of Culture Scouts.

The Art Spots

Lord Gladstone Hotel
115 Regent St, Chippendale; +61-2-9310-1483
An amazing little space that always gets re-covered in graffiti art. Above the pub, Goodspace Gallery constantly shows emerging artists, both local and international.

White Rabbit Art Gallery
30 Balfour Street; +61-2-8399-2867
An international gallery featuring a display of stunning and divisive contemporary Chinese art. Not afraid to tackle socio-political issues, WR is a staple. Stop by the tea house afterwards for a blossoming flower tea for two.

Redfern Wall
Corner Vine Street and Eveleigh Street, Redfern
Installed for the 2016 Sydney Biennale, Daniel Boyd’s mirrored wall, titled What Remains, has become a favorite for Culture Scouts. Adorned with thousands of pieces of glass, it looks amazing in every light.

Bearded Tit
183 Regent Street; +61-2-8283-4082
Taking its name from a pun, the Tit is a staple of Sydney’s open-minded crowd. The space features live performance art, a Caravan of Love, and heavenly strong mulled wine.

Carriageworks Farmers Markets
245 Wilson Street, Eveleigh (cnr. Codrington St); +61-2-8571-9099
Located in the old rail sheds, the multi-art institution hosts farmers markets every Saturday. Needless to say, the food and fresh produce is amazing, and so are the multitude of puppies and their owners that come out to say hello.

Vandal Gallery
16-30 Vine Street; +61-2-8966-5026
Opened early 2017, the gallery showcases a wide range of contemporary Australian artists. Scope is its speciality, featuring creatively minded people both emerging and emerged. One moment red carpets are climbing up walls, the next necklaces are hanging from the ceiling. Located on a street between a bike-themed cafe and Daniel Boyd’s mirror wall installation.

Welcome to Redfern
Redfern Community Center, 12-36 Caroline Street
An amazing example of a contemporary Australian installation that shows pride in the Redfern community. Indigenous Australian artist Reko Rennie has transformed an old house into a statement on belonging and connection.

Central Park
This kinetic wind sculpture has been lighting up the Chippendale sky since 2012. Sitting under its glowing colors is a great way to pass the time people-watching.

An exhibition at White Rabbit Gallery.
An exhibition at White Rabbit Gallery. Photo courtesy of Culture Scouts.
A painting in the wall at Spice Alley Restaurant.
A painting on the wall at Spice Alley Restaurant. Photo courtesy of Culture Scouts.

The Bars and Eateries

Din Tai Fung
Central Park Shopping Center, Level 2, 28 Broadway; +61-2-8072-9425
The dumpling institution has branched out of Chinatown to new pastures in Chippendale. Will Sydney ever get over its obsession with dumplings? Here’s hoping it won't.

Spice Alley
18-20 Kensington Street; +61-2-9281-0822
Duck down an alley on Kensington Street and be transported into an enclave full of delicious street food. Grab some pho in one hand, beef rendang in another, balance a watermelon smoothie on your nose, and take a seat.

Moya’s Juniper Lounge
101 Regent Street
Live music meets gin in a beautiful, beautiful combination. They explain all the little details of the gin ingredients so you understand exactly what you’re knocking back in that martini.

Kensington Street Social
3 Kensington Street; +61-2-8277-8533
A new player on the Chippendale eatery scene. Either watch the food being prepared from the bar or take a seat at one of the luxurious tables and be served the best from land and sea.

LP Quality Meats
Suite 1, 16 Chippen Street; +61-2-8399-0929
A must-stop for international carnivores. LP has a massive range of meats, from smoked ocean trout to duck terrine to Moroccan merguez. Take your pick.

Cake Wines
16 Eveleigh Street
A cross-generational urban cellar door and wine bar that throws all kinds of parties. As one colleague put it, where else can you find baby boomers sipping chardonnay as deep house booms in the background?

Redfern Wall.
What remains by Daniel Boyd at the Redfern Wall. Photo courtesy of Culture Scouts.
The Seasonal Concepts Store.
Seasonal Concepts. Photo courtesy of Culture Scouts.

The Shops

Seasonal Concepts
122 Redfern Street; +61-4-3004-4383
Housed in an 1850s Georgian-style house, the shop sources and sells pre-1950s furniture, decorative objects, and giftware with an Australian bent. This is where film industry and magazine stylists go to get their kit. It’s a retail experience that includes wonder, nostalgia, exploration, questioning, and discovery.

Chee Soon & Fitzgerald
173 Regent Street; +61-2-8399-1305
Originally opened in Surry Hills in 1996 by a pair of avid collectors with a discerning eye for unique and artisan finds, the current location on Regent Street in Redfern is a closely guarded secret. The ever-changing display of highly selective and beautiful objects range from from Japanese antiquities to Florence Broadhurst wallpaper to Marimekko fabrics.

The Hotel

The Old Clare Hotel
1 Kensington Street; +61-2-8277-8277
Located in two heritage-listed buildings — The Clare Hotel pub and the former Carlton and United Breweries Administration Building. What was once one of many breweries in the area is now a beautiful location to spend a weekend.

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