From the Editor: July in the East
Image courtesy of Destination NSW
Having a cafe you visit nearly every day is one of the great rituals of modern life. People can ridicule Millennials for wasting their wages on smashed avo on sourdough and turmeric lattes, but who doesn’t love the routine of seeing their barista and favourite staffer for a coffee and a chat? Cafes have replaced pubs as the new locals.
So I am quite thrilled to be able to share the story of my one of my own favourite locals. Paddington Alimentari is the sort of cafe you dream of having near your house. Alimentari sits on Hopetoun St, at the end of William St, a stroll from the luxe jewellery stores and boutiques, and is the sort of place more likely to be populated by familiar faces than strangers. Locals go there to meet, share their day’s news and views, and have some really good coffee. If you want to linger longer, have the chicken soup for lunch or a really huge tuna salad.
I interviewed owner Laraine Russo for Local East for our story Communal Table, presented as part of our Shop Small series, brought to you by American Express. I loved chatting to Laraine about Alimentari. She has owned the space for 15 years, but remarkably it has actually been either a shop or deli since 1901. For many years from the 1940s, the house and shop were owned by an Italian family who moved to Sydney before or during the war, and ran the deli downstairs while living in the rooms above. Laraine bought it in 2004 and has honed it to the bustling institution it is today. It’s a true Sydney story, and a real local tale at that. Thanks to American Express for helping us bring it to life.
We hope you find many great things in this edition of Local East. It’s full of hidden surprises and discoveries. I might see you some time at Alimentari.