A Sharper Point in Sydney
FOR decades, Potts Point has enjoyed a reputation as Sydney’s bohemian center. Over the last few years, a new wave of openings has re-established the neighborhood as a destination for the young and beautiful, despite — or maybe because of — its proximity to Kings Cross, an area best known for its prostitutes, strip clubs and tattoo parlors. On Macleay Street, the main artery of Potts Point, gorgeous Art Deco apartment buildings and Victorian terrace houses sit amid new restaurants and cafes where hipsters and celebrities mingle.Sign in to Recommend
“When I first came to Potts Point 15 years ago, there wasn’t anywhere to even have lunch or breakfast,” said Christopher Becker, an owner of Becker Minty, a furnishings and clothing store with two outlets in Potts Point.
Toby’s (Shop 6, 81 Macleay Street; 61-2-8356-9264; www.tobysestate.com.au) is the cafe outpost of a brand that also includes a coffee bean retailer and a barista school. Mothers sip espresso while their toddlers enjoy “babyccinos” (steamed milk without the coffee).
Another brand that has a strong presence in the neighborhood is Fratelli, which offers a retail store, Fratelli Fresh (No. 81; 61-2-9368-6655; www.fratellifresh.com.au), and Café Sopra, a casual restaurant. Diners choose from a daily blackboard menu, with offerings like linguine with lemon, chili and pangrattato (16 Australian dollars, or $14.50 at 1.10 Australian dollars to the U. S. dollar). Later, you can shop for everything from fresh passion fruit to two dozen types of house-made pasta.
The latest addition to the local dining scene is No. 9 (Shop 2, 9 Ward Avenue; 61-2-9331-1399), a popular breakfast and lunch spot that Walter Herman, an interior designer, opened in July. The cafe has the feel of a classical French library, with an electric fireplace and original artwork lining the walls. The menu includes items like the Full Monty breakfast, with organic eggs, bacon, tomatoes, mushrooms and baked beans (16.50 Australian dollars).
For upscale shopping, try Becker Minty (No. 81; 61-2-8356-9999; www.beckerminty.com) and its new branch (corner of Macleay and Greenknowe Avenues; 61-2-8356-9908), with luxury women’s clothing and accessories. On a midsummer visit to the flagship store, some of the more unusual items included five stuffed peacocks (5,650 dollars a peacock) and throws made of Patagonian fox (6,950 dollars).
The neighborhood’s gentrification has brought safer streets, so there’s no need to stay in at night. The Champagne bar Velluto (No. 50; 61-2-935-71100; www.velluto.com.au), where Jason Minty of Becker Minty is a partner, attracts the fashion set in the evening. Order a flute of vintage Krug (70 Australian dollars) alongside a plate of tasty French and Australian cheeses (17 dollars).
All of this has attracted a combination of empty nesters, students and young executives to the neighborhood. “Ten years ago there were no apartments in the 5-to-20-million-dollar range,” said Tony Dowling, a local real estate agent. “Now there are some fantastic new buildings, and still a handful being constructed.” Of course, the polished Potts Point doesn’t come cheap: some studio apartments now command a healthy price of 700,000 Australian dollars.