Kipling's Garage Bar Turramurra
Having grown up in the 1970' and 80's in the cultural desert that was Turramurra, on Sydney's North Shore, it was with great pleasure, that I stepped into the converted service station......... now slick bar, that was once the thriving petrol station business, of friends' of my parents. I was great friends with their kids, because we grew up on the same street. We did Little Athletics together, went to tennis camp in the school holidays, their daughter, who was a great mate, taught me how to smoke and I had countless sleepovers and swims in their pool . Hell, I even went to their son's year 12 formal, come to think of it. He was very popular with all the girls. I think he invited me, because we were just friends and accordingly, there would be no complications. I doubt he was keen on me. If he was, he never said.
Anyway, going back to the 'garage' was all very familiar and to say us kids spent alot of our childhood years together, would not be to put too finer point on it. Call it nostalgia, but I felt it was my duty to check out how the old girl brushed up, after all these years. My friends' parents sold the business and retired early to the North Coast. Their kids all scattered to different corners of the country. Sadly, I don't see them now, although my mum is still very friendly with their parents. Note to self: Check if they are on Facebook.
The service station business closed about 10 years ago and the building has sat empty, on a corner opposite Turramurra station, ever since.
Kilping's Garage Bar is a good example of successful urban renewal. Frankly, it is just what the doctor ordered, not only for the once derelict site, but also for the neighbourhood. Turramurra has been crying out for a bit of cool and this establishment is a move in the right direction.
Although I was there on a Friday for lunch with my mum, Kipling's appears to have a good vibe by night as well, with a comprehensive line up of music, according to their facebook page. Take a look around. All the important info for lunch, or a big night out in Turramurra, is at the bottom.
I love the way the bill is brought to you in a vintage book. I guess that is the 'Kipling' bit of the story.
Avenue Luxe across the road, is good for a bit of post lunch shopping.
So here's what you'll need to know:
Location: 2 Eastern Road Turramurra, corner Rohini Street, opposite Turramurra station
Distance from Sydney CBD: 20km from central Sydney and about 45 minutes by car.
Phone: (61) (2) 9440 4088. Reservations are only available for tables of more than 10 people
Open: For lunch and dinner from 12pm daily. Check this for any changes in the deep dark depths of Winter.
The vibe: For lunch, think catching up with the girls, business lunches and older couples, eating and drinking surrounded by industrial does 21st century decor. By night, I am informed it's buzzing, but intimate enough for a cozy drink with friends or lovers. Live music is often featured earlier in the week. The night of the week changes for live music, but you can check out who's playing when, on Facebook
Restaurant and Bar: Offering a good range of starters and shared plates $12-$14, a limited list of mains $15- $mid20's and also a 'specials list'. There are salads and Pizzetas and a kids menu. I would not call the food ground breaking, but it was completely adequate and suits the intimate bar atmosphere well. The wine list is comprehensive.
Kid's Menu: Yes, pasta, fish and chips and cheese pizza
Parking: Some free limited on street parking. Or park in the council carpark on Turramurra avenue and cut through to Rohini Street, via the multiple pedestrian laneways. Eastern Road is at the bottom of Rohini Street.
Public Transport: Yes, take the train via the North Shore line, from the city. The trip from Wynyard is 33 minutes. When alighting, turn left at the top of the stairs, cross the pedestrian crossing and walk down Rohini Street.
Shade: Yes there is a nice undercover outdoor dining area, at the front of the bar. Plastic roller blinds suggest it will be warm in winter too.
Fire Place: Yes with a big old Chesterfield lounge right in front. Bring on Winter.
Views: Of the federation railway station building from the outdoor area.
Other attractions: Avenue Luxe, a very nice homewares store across the road on Rohini Street. Also Abbotts Antiques a few doors along Eastern Road. Both would be nice for a bit of post lunch browsing.
In general: This establishment is cutting edge for Turramurra and not before time either. Owner, Chris Thompson is to be congratulated on his efforts to bring a bit of action to the burbs. The sleepy hollow is finally awakening after residential development began here around the time of Federation, 110 years ago.
I am very much looking forward to returning to this dedicated bar, for a drink and some shared plates with friends. Perhaps it's time to organise a reunion with some very old and dear friends. I would like that very much.
I have recently gathered more restaurant reviews and some of my travel stories in one spot, read them here.
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