Our concierge Adam Gittings has worked at Mercure Sydney for almost 15 years and is both our guests and staff’s first point of contact when asking which areas we should visit on the weekend. Adam gives us his insight of how Chippendale has transformed into one of Sydney’s greatest food and bar districts.
Chippendale has always had a soul and character of its own. In the early days, its soul was a little dark and misunderstood being an area to pass by or circumnavigate on the way to or from the city.
Chippendale is notable for a number of unique reasons. It was the location of the 168-year-old Carlton & United brewery which closed in December 2006 and at this time it had the unenviable title of having the lowest open space per person compared with any other suburb of Sydney (City of Sydney open space study, 2006).
In 2007, Frasers Property Australia purchased the brewery site from the Foster’s Group and lodged a modified concept plan for the 5.8 Hectare site. The development proposal included approximately 255,000 sqm of commercial and residential space, retention of a number of heritage buildings and the development of a large new park for Chippendale, called Chippendale Green. The addition of Chippendale Green has provided much needed green space, however given the corresponding population increase from the redevelopment of the former CUB site (now Central Park), Chippendale now has less than 1 sqm of green space per resident.
Even though there is on average not much room to swing a cat, Chippendale has an ever growing creative and cultural scene as well as an emerging yet highly acclaimed dining presence. With no less than six unique galleries within a couple of hundred meters of one another and cosmopolitan spread of restaurants, small bars, cafes and bakeries, there is something to cater for most tastes. Time Out Sydney has created an amazing Chippendale Guide on where to visit and find your new favourite pub, restaurant, bar or cafe.
Based in a 19th Century Gothic revival building tucked away in a secretive alley in Chippendale, founded by Gallerist, Curator and Director Nicky Ginsberg, NG Art Gallery is a showcase for the very best in Australian contemporary art. Another gallery of significant note is the White Rabbit Gallery containing one of the world’s largest collections of Chinese contemporary art focusing on works produced after 2000, again located within unusual architecture.
There is still so much more to discover throughout this neighbourhood and with the emergence of ongoing annual creative festivals, events and markets, Chippendale is destined to become the next must visit destination.