Best of Darby Street Cooks Hill Blog 2014

In Newcastle we all love going to Darby Street Cooks Hill for a break, a bite to eat, and to watch the other people.  Here's our best best blogposts from 2014 - hope you like and share them.

1 - Darby Street Reviews



It's all about the coffee houses in Darby Street, Cooks Hill, and the inner city artisan vibe.  Darby Street is a center for fashion, friends and free time as the people of Newcastle, NSW head for some old school main street retail and dining experiences.  People watching is a great way to while away a few hours as you see all walks of life from tattooed twenty somethings to prematurely grey property investors sipping coffee and folding back the pages on the broadsheets.

Here, I've spent some time putting together a comprehensive guide to Darby Street Cooks Hill so you can get a feel for the place before you arrive.  Having a few local insider tips is always the perfect way to plan your next visit to Newcastle.  Enjoy, and please feel entitled to share your comments and feedback if you feel I have left something out.

2 - Handmade Artisan Australia


Every week we interview new and exciting Australian Handmade Artisans from local markets and stallholders all over the place.  This week, here's an excerpt from findhandmade.com.au a magazine devoted to bespoke and artisan designers and producers in Australia.

I'm talking with Marie-Nicole right next to the finger-picking tunes of a guitar busker - and it all sort of goes together - Marie-Nicole's stall is about re-imagining pure wool blankets into guitar cases.

Marie's hands are busy working whilst we talk, piercing kangaroo leather with a needle and knotting a cuff. And the walls are adorned with the guitar cases - hanging on display in all their subtle multicolour glory - a table littered with leather items and all held up on vintage suit cases.

It's a feel and this stall has all the boxes ticked. The soft guitar cases are made from recycled pure wool blankets - and retired brand names like onkaparinga every Australian will be familiar with - with the original blanket badge a part of the new guitar case. It acts as both a sign of authenticity and a nod to the history and quality of the blanket that has "died" for the guitar case to come to life.

3 - Why I Chose Gourmet Hampers


My husband and I haven't shared Christmas gifts for many years now. It started as "let's spend all the Xmas Present money on the children," way back when we were struggling to get established.

Then as we got older and the kids became a little more independent it moved on to "well we have whatever we need and buy what ever we want so really why focus on the specific day of Christmas, or the Holiday period?".
Christmas Gifts with Meaning and Emotion

And now as we are really even older ( I hate how that happens but it does!) we have moved to we have so much and others are clearly less fortunate than us so we take what we would spend on Christmas Presents and give it to the local Charity Christmas Appeal.


4 - Darby Street Handmade Markets


Looking forward to experiencing the fresh coffee, happening vibe and lively conversation next time we stroll along the Darby Street Markets looking for something handmade and possibly quirky.

 Spring Brings with it the opportunity for new summer markets and getting out and about in the sunshine.

Secrets of Handmade Success


handmade marketing strategies
Online shopping is the way to go for creative enterprise in 2014.


 Find Handmade is not your ordinary digital agency.

Mostly it’s just me working from my home office – although I do have access to an awesome team of support and assistants to get me through larger projects. It’s how it works.

Handmade Success Secrets


I work with handmade artisans and creative enterprises because people who work on their own vision, passion and dreams really inspire me and are the most exciting and dynamic to work alongside. I don’t do web development for solicitors or mechanics anymore. That is not how it works.


online shopping masterclass
Online shopping offers you the freedom of working from home an taking charge of exactly where you want to position your business

 Working with creative artisan types is the most fulfilling and I’ve seen how my strategies and methods can completely transform a uncertain handmade artisan into an online shopping authority.

How to find amazing content for your blog, website and social media
How to focus on your most profitable, and bestselling products
How to get awesome images and visual content
How to get a handle on social media so it isn’t a daily distraction
Why everyone (well almost everyone) hates blogging about their business and how to do it differently
How to get selling independently online – NOT using portals like Esty.com – using your own owned site





artisan small business ideas
Artisan Small Business has its own set of challenges - its wise to use a mentor

How to get a website without being held to ransom for updates and exorbitant hosting costs
How to use youtube to build your brand and let people know the real you
How selling Australia wide means you are tapping a 20 million + audience
How to get meaningful work life balance so you work the business to suit you – not the other way around
How to use couriers and Auspost to suit your own lifetsyle, not your customers demands

Darby St Reviews

Darby Street Reviews

It's all about the coffee houses in Darby Street, Cooks Hill, and the inner city artisan vibe.  Darby Street is a center for fashion, friends and free time as the people of Newcastle, NSW head for some old school main street retail and dining experiences.  People watching is a great way to while away a few hours as you see all walks of life from tattooed twenty somethings to prematurely grey property investors sipping coffee and folding back the pages on the broadsheets.

Here, I've spent some time putting together a comprehensive guide to Darby Street Cooks Hill so you can get a feel for the place before you arrive.  Having a few local insider tips is always the perfect way to plan your next visit to Newcastle.  Enjoy, and please feel entitled to share your comments and feedback if you feel I have left something out.

Grind Cafe Darby Street

Grind Coffee Darby Street Cooks Hill NSW 2300
Grind Coffee on Darby Street Cooks Hill
Grind has always provided a facility for those who wish to hold small functions and meetings in its upstairs dining area. The Roycrofts have taken this offer to another level by refurbishing the upstairs dining area and naming it the 'Library'.
The 'Library' not only provides dining for those who wish for a more intimate surrounding, but is now set up for those who wish to hold, small functions, hens nights, club meetings, business meetings, social functions, formals, birthday parties etc. The Library has also been listed as a venue in Newcastle to hold the very popular 'Host a Murder Night'


Grind Coffee   127 Darby Street Cooks Hill NSW 2300. p 02 4929 4710



The Hop Factory on Darby

The Hop Factory Darby Street Cooks Hill NSW
The Hop Factory Darby Street Cooks Hill NSW
The Hop Factory is a locally owned family business and is the end product of a 10 year dream to operate a genuine craft beer cafe by the Jeffrey family. Licensee Matt Jeffrey has experience to burn in the craft beer industry and is passionate for the need for Newcastle to have second to none choice when it comes to micro brewed beer. Matt has previously had high involvement in the broad range of high quality craft beers available at East Maitland Cellars, Warners at the Bay and The Prince of Wales Hotel.

The Hop Factory Darby Street 102 Darby Street Cooks Hill NSW 2300. p 02 4929 4854


Zinc Cafe Darby Street

Zinc on Darby, 135 Darby St Cooks Hill, NSW
Zinc on Darby, 135 Darby St Cooks Hill, NSW
Come and soak up the atmosphere with a coffee or enjoy our something from our delicious cosmopolitan menu. We have something to suit everyone for breakfast, lunch and dinner and anything in-between.  Browse through the site, take a look at our menus then simply drop in or call us to make a booking, you won’t be disappointed.

Zinc Cafe Darby Street  135 Darby Street Cooks Hill NSW 2300 p;02 4926 2227

Agosti Espresso Cafe Darby Street

Agosti Espresso Cafe 7 Darby Street Cooks Hill
Agosti Espresso Cafe 7 Darby Street Cooks Hill

The Darby Street cafe will be serving high quality Coffee, Tea, Food, Beer & Wine to its customers. The cafe is designed to cater for the demographic of Newcastle, bringing a touch of New York to the area. Agosti Espresso includes impressive function area, a stylish marble bar with beer on tap, kitchen, and, of course, Agosti Espresso barista bar. A laidback bistro, Agosti Espresso offers all the suave sophistication expected from this part of town, without the intimidating atmosphere and extortionate prices normally associated with a venue of this calibre.

Agosti Espresso Cafe Darby Street 7 Darby Street Cooks Hill NSW 2300. p02 4926 4886


Longbench Cafe Restaurant


Longbench Cafe Restaurant 161 Darby Street Cooks Hill
Longbench Cafe Restaurant 161 Darby Street Cooks Hill

Longbench is a unique café by day, restaurant by night located in the heart of upbeat, exciting Cooks Hill. Our main focus is to offer a great menu selection for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We love serving food that is fresh, seasonally appropriate and consistently amazing. We believe in utilising local produce and showcasing a great wine and craft beer selection coupled with an extensive range of house baked deserts. We have hired fantastic staff who have been tasked with one simple purpose, to please each one of our valued customers!!

Longbench Cafe Restaurant  161 Darby Street Cooks Hill NSW 2300. p 02 4927 8888


Coco Monde Chocolateria

Coco Monde Chocolateria 80 Darby St Cooks Hill, NSW
Coco Monde Chocolateria 80 Darby St Cooks Hill, NSW
We are proud to produce our own unique range of top quality handcrafted chocolates, innovative chocolate treats, to-die-for desserts and beautiful savoury meals. All are freshly created on site by our talented chocolatier & chefs with lots of love and care, using only premium ingredients. We even make our own ice creams, marshmallow and honeycomb from scratch! This ensures that our valued customers are treated to the very freshest and best quality products, without artificial additives or preservatives.

Coco Monde Chocolateria 80 Darby St Cooks Hill, NSW 2300. p02 4023 0860



Hotel Delany Darby Street

Hotel Delany 134 Darby Street Cooks Hill NSW
Hotel Delany 134 Darby Street Cooks Hill NSW

With a relaxed, contemporary setting and wide menu selection, your choice of dining experiences at Cravings Restaurant is entirely yours. Enjoy your favourite pub fare from the Casual Eats menu, or experience our a la carte menu with fresh modern Italian and French influences. And to finish… delectable desserts, extensive leaf and bean selections and a sweet or sour beverage from the bar.

Hotel Delany Darby Street 134 Darby Street Cooks Hill NSW 2300 p02 4929 1627

5 Sawyers Craft Beer

5 Sawyers Craft Beer 115 Darby St Cooks Hill, NSW
5 Sawyers Craft Beer 115 Darby St Cooks Hill, NSW

Our inspiration for 5 Sawyers came from the idea of creating a place with great atmosphere that is deeply rooted in something authentic and what better story to tell than our past in this city. Together with a relaxed environment where you can enjoy the fruits of our region such as a glass of Hunter wine, chilled craft beer or a cheeky cocktail.

5 Sawyers Craft Beer  115 Darby St Cooks Hill, NSW 2300 p 02 4927 0070



Vietking Vietnamese on Darby St


Vietking Vietnamese Restaurant 116 Darby Street Cooks Hill, NSW
Vietking Vietnamese Restaurant 116 Darby Street Cooks Hill, NSW

Located on vibrant Darby Street Cooks Hill, Viet King is your convenience to have fun and indulge. Perhaps begin in the lounge area with a cocktail steeped in modern Asian flavours, or choose from the impressive wine cellar list.  At Vietking, the generous menu will see you leaving both impressed and satisfied, from your first to your last course, at an affordable price.

Vietking Vietnamese Restaurant  116 Darby Street Cooks Hill, NSW 2300 p 02 4929 3643


Finnegan's Hotel Darby Street


Finnegan's Hotel Corner Darby & King Streets Newcastle NSW
Finnegan's Hotel Corner Darby & King Streets Newcastle NSW

Our all new Bistro Restaurant is an exciting addition to the Darby Street food scene. Chef Luke Evans has created a modern menu featuring all the favourite pub classics as well as a few signature dishes that just have to be tried.

Finnegan's Hotel Corner Darby & King Streets Newcastle NSW 2300 p 02 4926 4777



The Depot on Darby Street

The Depot 143 Darby Street Cooks Hill NSW 2300
The Depot 143 Darby Street Cooks Hill NSW 2300
Enjoy sensational dining at The Depot on Darby – Newcastle’s favourite restaurant. Modern Australian cuisine meets authentic Spanish tapas in a unique fusion of fresh produce, fine wines and contemporary urban style. The Depot is the perfect venue to meet friends, celebrate and enjoy the very best of Newcastle’s lively Darby Street restaurant scene.

The Depot on Darby Street  141-143 Darby Street Cooks Hill NSW 2300 p 02 4929 2666


Soho Cafe on Darby Street

Soho Cafe 171 Darby St Cooks Hill NSW 2300
Soho Cafe 171 Darby St Cooks Hill NSW 2300
Soho On Darby has seen many changes over the past 150 years. Through its time as the Hawaiian Steakhouse to now, as a well-established restaurant and Cocktail bar, the building still possesses a lot of the original character including the red gum floorboards and the infamous staircase.

Soho Cafe on Darby Street 171 Darby St Cooks Hill NSW 2300 p 02 4929 6769


Darby Street Cooks Hill keeps alive the thriving main street dining experience in inner city Newcastle and it is a pleasure to review and be a part of this Darby Street Experience.

Handmade Artisan Australia

Every week we interview new and exciting Australian Handmade Artisans from local markets and stallholders all over the place.  This week, here's an excerpt from findhandmade.com.au a magazine devoted to bespoke and artisan designers and producers in Australia.

handmade artisan arts and crafts Australia
Marie-Nicole working leather
Meet Marie-Nicole


I'm talking with Marie-Nicole right next to the finger-picking tunes of a guitar busker - and it all sort of goes together - Marie-Nicole's stall is about re-imagining pure wool blankets into guitar cases. 

Marie's hands are busy working whilst we talk, piercing kangaroo leather with a needle and knotting a cuff. And the walls are adorned with the guitar cases - hanging on display in all their subtle multicolour glory - a table littered with leather items and all held up on vintage suit cases. 

It's a feel and this stall has all the boxes ticked. The soft guitar cases are made from recycled pure wool blankets - and retired brand names like onkaparinga every Australian will be familiar with - with the original blanket badge a part of the new guitar case. It acts as both a sign of authenticity and a nod to the history and quality of the blanket that has "died" for the guitar case to come to life.

Read more about Marie-Nicole and discover her artisan handmade craft.