Sunday, April 15, 2012

Hatches X - April 2012

In the 3 months since the January edition a lot has changed on and around King Street; not a lot of it positive. Most of the dispatches over the last few months have been of much-loved local businesses - in their place more and more generic franchises have popped up. Following the migration of the many generic clothing shops from the also suffering Oxford Street, there's a risk we're losing what makes King St special. On the positive side this trend is mostly confined to King St north of the station and SoKi or South King Street is going from strength to strength.

Newtown Station April 2012

The Newtown Station renovations grind on towards their end 2012 finish, and we're starting to get an idea of what the finished product will look like. Here's my January update. Not much action on the AusGrid works lately, but there's been a container on Brown Street the last couple of months that is apparently going to support the introduction of Sydney Council Smartpoles between Wilson St and Missenden Road - more details on the council's website here.

New Openings
Not too much to get excited about this time round, most of the openings are the aforementioned chains:

  • Mad Mex, MooCow, Gelatissimo have all opened up Newtown branches this year
  • A new yoga venue, Yoga Union down on Union street - sorry I missed you last time :)
  • Funky Mark V (or so it seems) opened up this weekend - fingers crossed that this incarnation will go the distance, it's a great venue and their support of live music deserves to be rewarded - hopefully that will continue. Update - now called Black Sheep
  • A 'local supermarket' is replacing the furniture haven near Vanguard; apparently not a chain or known brand as had been rumoured. Looks like a couple of weeks away
  • Young Henry's brewery opened up in the back streets near the flour mills
Going ...
Unfortunately most of the news is here this time:

  • Quite spectacularly - Newtown Hotel collapsed last month (I mistakenly thought it was a fire) and remedial works are under way - Watkins Street still closed to cars.
  • Many departures of much loved businesses: Books on King (cats and all), So Music (not Hum) a while ago now, Fish, Cinque - both due to the Dendy makeover, but no sign that they will return
  • A Coffee and a Yarn have closed leaving cryptic messages about a potential rebirth
  • Repressed Records will soon be vacating the beautiful St George's Hall
  • The Asian supermarket Qmart near Burger Fuel disappeared without much notice; not sure if it was collateral damage from the short-lived Mr Cheng's up the road.
  • Dendy Newtown closed for renovations - no re-opening date at this stage
  • Gould's struggling according to their newsletter - but hanging in there. Drop down there and buy something, it's an institution we can't afford to lose. 
  • The Ramen noodle bar in Berkelouw has been replaced by a mum and bub's style cafe; according to tipster and reviewer Detective Chow.

Development Applications

  • Nothing much of interest. I had to laugh at the advertising for Newtown Village (next to Oporto) implying a nice quite lcoation with a leafy outlook rather than being squeezed between Enmore Road and the train line. Stand by for the noise complaints against Notes Live
  • There's a whole industry of food bloggers out there now, I've stored some Newtown specific links here for you to explore 
  • Detective Chow continues to bring his unique take to food blogging to Newtown 
  • Noted Newtown non-fan Terry Durack gave Spencer Guthrie a positive review in the SMH recently
  • Short lived street art in the carpark next to Mitre 10 - already painted over sadly
  • New online book review: Newtown Review of Books set up by locals Jean Bedford and Linda Funnell
  • The 100 year old advertising uncovered by the burning down of the laundromat has now been painted over after being tagged. See more here.

You can see all the links that I have shared on Twitter via my public timeline.

1 comment:

  1. I had no idea the Newtown Hotel had collapsed, I just assumed they had demolished the rear as part of their renovations. That's a pretty big oops.

    The new station looks like it'll be quite impressive, although that steel walkway thing looks like a total eyesore, I can't envisage that ever looking good. After the outcry about the original swoopy roof design I suspect they sacked their architect and just got their contractors to knock something up.