Inside the bright, spacious foyer of the long-awaited new Dexus development on North Sydney’s Mount Street you might forget for a moment you’re in the middle of the North Sydney CBD. The space is quiet, and the building design simple, clean and elegant. Soaring ceilings, natural light and walls covered in creeping plants provide an ambiance removed from much of the rest of the bustling district.

Glory Days Coffee is the first venue to open in this new development, and it occupies the front half of the lobby. Much like its surroundings, the cafe is understated: a single sleek wood-panelled bar houses a stunning cream La Marzocco Strada coffee machine, a glass case with a selection of pastries and other baked treats, and not much else.

The man behind this project is Aaron Crinis, formerly of Diggies Cafe and Dagwood Bar + Kitchen in Wollongong, and new creative management company Brand New Day (BND). Crinis is clear about his audience in this location. “North Sydney is crawling with cafes,” he says. “There are so many workers nearby looking for food and coffee of a certain quality and we’re really excited to offer them something new and approachable.”

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The menu is purposefully pared back and has sourdough bread, pastries and cakes from Chippendale’s Brickfields bakery; bagels by Brooklyn Boy; cold-pressed juices and tonics by Cali Press; and because coffee is a big focus here, bespoke coffee roasted especially for the cafe by Mecca in Alexandria. “We have chosen products and suppliers … that share the same appreciation … for top ingredients, impeccable service, fresh thinking,” says Crinis.

The front coffee bar – which also turns out Prana Chai, Tea Craft teas and Mörk hot chocolates – hides a tiny kitchen doing toasted bagels schmeared with cream cheese and topped generously with smoked salmon, tomato and capers, or with chilli and chives. There’s also coconut chia with berries and granola, and oats stewed with fruit, yoghurt and coconut.

BND’s next project is Glorietta, in the same building, which is more of a restaurant. It’s slated to open in spring. Crinis says it will be classy but casual and without pretension. “The Bill Murray of establishments, if you will,” he says jokingly.

Glory Days Coffee
100 Mount Street, North Sydney
0499 117 008

Mon to Fri 7am–3pm