A Weekend in… Eveleigh
Since starting life as a locomotive precinct of Redfern, Eveleigh has developed an identity all of its own as an emerging hub for innovators, makers, movers and shakers.
There’s plenty more to come for this city fringe suburb, as Eveleigh has been earmarked for up to 1400 new homes over the next 15 years in a major chapter of the NSW Government’s Urban Transformation Strategy. The master plan is that Eveleigh will provide a blueprint for contemporary Sydney, with a mixture of old and new development, smaller homes, better shared spaces and an emphasis on local living.
With more warehouses and weedy concrete backlots earmarked for chic apartments and innovative public spaces, now is the perfect time to spend a weekend out and about in Eveleigh, soaking up its creativity and possibilities.
Warm up for the day with a blacksmithing course at Eveleigh Works, and be part of a movement to revive the traditional trade. The 130-year-old workshop invites beginners to forge their own metal leaf, stamped with their initials, in regular free workshops. Leaves will be used in a public art project, Eveleigh Tree House, to be installed in the South Eveleigh development. Formerly known as the Australian Technology Park, the precinct is being redeveloped to become a magnet for artisans, businesses and the community.
Eveleigh clocked less than 700 people in the last census – a relatively tiny number for an inner-city suburb. But this is no reflection of the area’s popularity, and a rollout of new developments is set to swell its ranks significantly. If you’re on the Saturday morning property trail, your options in Eveleigh consist almost entirely of apartments, particularly industrial conversions and off-the-plan opportunities. About three quarters of homes in the suburb are rented to students and young professionals, and while recent sales figures are hard to come by in this emerging market, neighbouring Redfern and Alexandria provide a ballpark, where units average $980,000 and $752,000, respectively.
Carriageworks Farmers Markets unites some of the state’s top producers with inner city shoppers every Saturday from 9am until 1pm.
Arrive in time to stock up on organic and biodynamic produce, artisan bread and cheese, grab a coffee and enjoy a roving lunch between the food stalls. If you make it earlier in the day, check out a free cooking demonstration, held weekly at 10.30am, with a different celebrity chef or producer each week. Operating out of a former rail workshop, it’s a bustling hub in any kind of weather.
Follow up your grocery shop with some food for thought in the main Carriageworks building, which hosts a regular rotation of art exhibitions, installations and performances.
The South Eveleigh precinct boasts some great cafes Monday to Friday, but on the weekend, your afternoon brew awaits a short stroll away in neighbouring Redfern, Erskineville or Alexandria.
Choose from a rainbow spectrum of lattes at Redfern’s Henry Lee’s, ranging from red velvet to purple taro, charcoal and a golden hued turmeric latte. Part of the 16 Eveleigh Creative Precinct, the café has a heavy emphasis on local ingredients, whether they’re marinating their meats in beer from nearby Grifter Brewery, or adding dollops of Sydney’s own Urban Beehive honey.
There’s more to taste and explore in the 16 Eveleigh collective after dark. Launch into the evening with wine tasting at Cake Wines Cellar Door, and follow it up with a deli-inspired dinner and indie music.
For a heartier meal, try Kindred, a farmhouse-style restaurant in nearby Darlington. A neighbourhood favourite, it serves Italian-inspired fare, with everything from the pasta to the sausages, ricotta, and gelato made in-house.
Newtown’s King Street is a few blocks away, where you can kick on at a bar, or simply digest with a stroll and a spot of people-watching.
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