IMAGE VIA LOBBY BOY | FACEBOOK
We all know The Grounds of Alexandria — it’s the urban oasis that offers wholesome food, a magical farmyard setting, and the allure of Kevin Bacon the pig. The former industrial site—now Instagram heaven—is home to The Potting Shed bar, an infamous café serving the best damn brunch on offer, floral installations, outdoor dining spaces, and even fresh food markets, drawing visitors from all over the country.
Well, big news for all the loyal customers of the Sydney institution: the creator of The Grounds has launched a pair of new all-day concepts called Lobby Boy. And while The Grounds and the new cafés share some fundamental similarities, it’s the differences that make them so special.
The way we work is changing, and with it so too is our demand for coffee shops and cafés which allow us to work flexibly, remotely, and in a comfortable setting. Instead of the old hole-in-the-wall offering takeaway coffee and average-at-best pastries or toast, more and more cafés, bars, and specialty coffee brewers are meeting us where our fast-paced lives take us, transforming lobbies and foyers around the country. The most recent of which is Lobby Boy.
“More and more people are able to work from anywhere, hours are becoming more flexible and office spaces are more transient. In developing Lobby Boy, our goal was to create a warm and inviting environment to suit the modern workforce,” said Ramzey Choker, founder and director of both The Grounds and Lobby Boy.
Lobby Boy, already charming Eveleigh and fresh off an opening in North Sydney’s CBD in Northpoint Tower’s lobby, was created to be the “lounge room of the office block”, the go-to for meetings and catch-ups.
Named after a character in Wes Anderson movie The Grand Budapest Hotel who hopes to achieve excellence in hospitality, these cafés embody the same drive, offering all-day healthy brekkie for the growing health-conscious market, amazing coffee, and the focal point: inviting, elegant spaces from which to enjoy a coffee or meal. The thoughtful design welcomes visitors to spend time and thoroughly enjoy rather than having to grab a coffee on the run.
Choker opened the North Sydney location in October 2019 after the enormous success and popularity of the May 2019 debut of the Eveleigh café — even without a petting zoo or branded Disney installation. He said the design of the space, in collaboration with Acme and the Cromwell Property Group, adds significant appeal to both cafés.
The North Sydney café is warm and casual, designed specifically as a relaxed meeting space for workers to congregate. The rustic timber flooring, soft lighting, and colour palette featuring pinks and greens make it an enticing place to spend time.
Lobby Bar North Sydney opens early to serve up coffee and comfort to morning commuters as they head into the city, but it also serves breakfast classics, snacks, and lunch. The coffee–like at The Grounds–is top-notch.
And the food: contemporary, with a touch of international influence. You’ll feast on brioche brekkie jaffles stuffed with maple-glazed bacon, roast tomato, egg, and smoked barbecue mayo, or you’re just as well suited with the zucchini, corn, and pine nut fritters. For lunch, the salad bowls are filling and nutritious (and delicious) – with signatures like the Super Bowl (roast cauli, falafel, poached egg, chickpeas, kale, spinach, hummus, labneh, and sumac) guaranteed to brighten your day.
The shakes, smoothies, and house-made sodas top it all off. And if you’re in a hurry, the takeaway menu—featuring fresh juice, smoothie or coffee on the go—has you covered.
But, then again, you might be missing the purpose of Lobby Boy — a café concept aimed to become an integral part of people’s daily rituals! Once you’re immersed in this beautiful, welcoming communal space, we bet you’re unlikely to skip out on your designated morning coffee time, ever again.