To many, the office lobby symbolises a day at work – a fluorescent-lit echo chamber of shuffling feet; the threshold through which we transition into the nine-to-five. But for the residents of North Sydney’s Northpoint Tower, it’s become a place to linger.

Lobby Boy is the latest project from Ramzey Choker, the mind behind destination cafe The Grounds of Alexandria and, more recently, The Grounds of the City.

“The name Lobby Boy was inspired by the character Zero Moustafa in Wes Anderson’s film The Grand Budapest Hotel. He’s the new lobby boy who is learning to achieve the highest levels of service for the hotel’s guests, and that’s something we’re also striving to achieve,” Choker tells Broadsheet.

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Choker runs another Lobby Boy in Eveleigh, which opened in the Commonwealth Bank building in May. “I loved the idea of being able to transform a purely functional space that most people just walk past on the way to something else into a warm and inviting space they could instead walk in to,” he says.

The menu was designed by Paul McGrath, who’s executive chef at The Grounds. There’s a breakfast burger that comes with maple-glazed bacon, egg and smoked mayo, and a very cheesy croissant stuffed with bechamel, Gruyere, cheddar, fontina and spinach. The lunch menu has a range of salads, sandwiches and burgers (including a toasted cheeseburger jaffle); steak tartare (made with a hand-cut beef fillet, spices, egg yolk and served with toasted sourdough); a sourdough ploughman with ham, cheese, cucumber pickle, heirloom tomato, aioli and relish; and more.

Juice is a big thing here (the Immune Booster – orange, carrot, lemon and ginger – is a zesty number that’ll help ward off commuter germs), and there are cocktails and vino to make any dull meeting that little bit more fun. (Plus, it’s open late on Thursdays and Fridays, so you can swing by for an after-work drink.) Baristas pump out The Grounds’s signature blend while commuters from nearby North Sydney station hit up the takeaway kiosk for pre-made rolls.

The design team at Acme (which is also responsible for creating The Grounds) has gone with blue velvets, dark timbers and marble tables. There are lots of wingback chairs for lounging, and the glassed corner position is a great spot to watch passers-by on the street. “Our goal for the space was to create a warm and relaxing environment to suit the modern workforce,” says Choker. “Using dark and moody styling, we wanted to turn the Northpoint Tower lobby into the ‘lounge room’ of the office block.”

Lobby Boy

Northpoint Tower, 100 Miller Street, North Sydney

Mon to Wed 7am–4pm
Thurs & Fri 7.30am–late
Sat 9am–2.30pm

This article first appeared on Broadsheet on October 31, 2019. Menu items may have changed since publication.