JUST AROUND THE CORNER: A DRAWCARD LINE-UP OF NEWCASTLE’S BEST FOOD, DRINK, ART AND MUSIC
The Corner – a dynamic new food and entertainment precinct – opens in Charlestown this December
Setting the agenda for summer, The Corner brings together independent Newcastle food producers and boutique brands with the artists and musicians who are shaping the creative and cultural landscape of our city.
The new Charlestown precinct is the result of a $10 million investment from owners The GPT Group. It’ll feature destination eateries, a revolving roster of local talent and an indoor–outdoor alfresco feel. Its vibe? All-day dining, casual communal eats, sunny sociable atmosphere and food that’s big on flavour, low on fuss.
When The Corner officially opens on Thursday 5 December, it will showcase contemporary Asian eatery Bao Brothers, Newcastle burgers-and-chicken anarchists Rascal debuting their second venue, Italian gelato experts Popolo Artisan Gelato opening their first Popolo Dessert Bar, new artisanal cafe Hunter Espresso and 4 Pines Brewing Company pouring a rotating list of craft beers. Lee’s Yum Cha, with the first traditional Chinese trolley service in the Hunter, will be opening in February.
“Our vision for The Corner is of a day-to-night hub with great local food, music and art. Most of the foodies and brands we’re working with are independent ventures with Newcastle roots.”
“With the name, we wanted to suggest an urban hangout where everyone can be themselves, where individuality and authenticity are celebrated. We’re supporting the city’s creatives and making a space for events and community.”Mardi Ashkine, Precinct Manager of The Corner
The Corner’s launch will kick off with four days of live music and entertainment, from Thursday 5 December to Sunday 8 December, as an intro to an ongoing cultural program. There’ll also be opening weekend pop ups: Streets of Napoli woodfired pizza by Napoli Centrale Pizza Bar and Doughheads doughnuts.
During The Corner’s first months, artists who’ll be creating and exhibiting in the precinct include Ellie Hannon, Bradley Eastman, Lucas Grogan and Brett Piva. The musical roster will feature New Orleans-style jazz from the Rehab Brass Band; live funk on Fridays from a five-piece band led by musical director Jacob Neale; and old-school funk, soul and reggae played from original vinyl 45 singles by resident DJs Dan Phelan and DJ Tone. On Saturdays, Tim Rossington’s atmospheric percussion, guitar loops and vocals evoke chilled out coastal vibes; and, with his Sunday blues, guitar virtuoso Adam Miller is playing sad music to make you feel good.
Ty Burford, co-owner at Rascal, said: “The Corner is all about providing Newcastle with unexpected experiences; it’s authentic ‘ingredients’ served with love, fun and energy – this is going to be a great fit. We’re all about our original recipes, defiant flavour combinations and the unique Burger of the Week.”
Popolo Dessert Bar’s Alfonso Muras said: “Popolo means ‘people’ in Italian and, with our Italian heritage, we share Newcastle’s passion for community and family. Our Dessert Bar will be a bold mix
of tradition and contemporary experimentation, mixing a range of creamy, classic gelato, vegan treats and lactose-free licks, and even gelato cocktails and alcohol-infused gelato.”
Nathan Martin, co-founder of Bao Brothers, said: “We started with not much more than Newcastle grit and determination, and look at us now! We’re psyched about opening our newest venue at The Corner and can’t wait to share our passion for quality Asian food served in an authentic, immersive experience.”
Brand designer Brett Piva said: “I have been in and around the Newcastle community for a long time, and you can see my work spread among the town in its shops and cafes, but it’s so refreshing to be part of a new precinct that seeks to promote this community spirit in an all-inclusive cultural centre.”
The Corner will be located at the intersection of Pearson and Ridley Street in Charlestown.
ABOUT THE RETAILERS
Rascal: Burgers. Chicken. Anarchy.
Hatted chef Tim Montgomery and hip hotelier Ty Burford flip the script on the humble hamburger and succulent fried chicken. The idea is simple: quality produce ethically sourced from local and Australian producers. Just add rule-breaking flavour combinations and the tantalising Burger of the Week. Serve imaginatively with a dash of mischief.
Starting out as a weekend market stall then expanding to a Hunter Street restaurant in 2017, Bao Brothers serve up contemporary Taiwanese street food with a twist. The hip-hop aficionados make the best fried chicken in Newcastle and stay true to their street food and travel-inspired origins by food trucking to all the Night Noodle markets in Australia.
4 Pines Brewing Company
In 2008, a post-surfing chat between Jaron Mitchell and his dad Steve about the lack of decent beers in most Sydney pubs led to the creation of 4 Pines brewery. A little over 10 years later, the company is one of Australia’s most successful craft beer makers. Launching with a pale ale and a kolsch, it’s grown to include multiple community-focused venues and a wide-ranging selection of beers, including the experimental Keller Door range.
Popolo Dessert Bar
Created by the owners of Popolo Artisan Gelateria (named as one of the top 25 ice creameries in
Australia), the Popolo Dessert Bar will offer classic, Italian gelato with a modern twist. Expect seasonal flavours, gelato cocktails and alcohol-infused gelato. Alfonso Muras also runs Newcastle’s Napoli Centrale pizza bar, which’ll be doing a woodfire pizza pop-up during opening weekend. He’s also a musician, so might make a cameo with his band on The Corner stage.
Hunter Espresso Co is all about the beautiful brown bean, delivered every which way it can be – espresso , plunger, batch or cold brew. There’s also a supporting cast of café classics like pastas, sandwiches, toasties and cakes, with a gourmet dessert menu taking care of those night-time sugar cravings.
Lee’s Yum Cha
Fukin Lee, owner of neighbourhood restaurant Dumpling Story, knows dim sum – he’s been making them for 15 years. Lee’s Yum Cha, opening in February, will celebrate these delicious doughy parcels, with basket after basket wheeled straight from the kitchen to your table with the Hunter’s first traditional Chinese full trolley service.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Australian artist Ellie Hannon mixes painting, drawing, ceramics and mural work. From her Newcastle studio, she creates dreamlike natural landscapes, inviting the viewer to immerse themselves in spaces of nostalgia, contemplation and mysticism. Over the past two years, Ellie has begun working on large-scale site-specific murals that depict abstracted scenes exploring nature’s resilience and its ability to regenerate and reclaim an environment after human intervention.
Beastman (Bradley Eastman) is a multidisciplinary artist from Sydney, Australia. Beastman’s paintings, digital illustration, commercial projects and public murals use a unique visual language to depict future environments of abstracted geometric landscapes and potential new life forms. An internationally exhibited artist, Eastman has also been commissioned by leading brands including Vivid Sydney, Mini and Apple, and his work has been acquired by the National Gallery of Australia.
Growing up in Maitland, NSW, and studying in Newcastle, Lucas Grogan is inspired by a wide range of influences, including Islamic motifs and traditional Aboriginal paintings. His work moves between paintings and murals, quilts and sculptures. Typically working with rich indigo blues, Lucas matches intricacy, beauty and skill with an irreverent, pun-filled sense of humour to make boldly graphic, fastidiously patterned artworks.
Brett Piva is a contemporary artist and curator based on the sunny east coast city of Newcastle, Australia. Brett Piva’s beginnings started in a rural setting near the Murrumbidgee River in NSW, Australia. Relocating to an urban environment, his affection for ‘The Australian Bush’ grows stronger by the day. Piva develops natural patterns and lines within his work that are found whilst adventuring in drier Australian bush climates and within forestries that strongly benefit from rainfall along the coast.