A fresh face among the new clutch of cafes and bars that are rejuvenating Sydney’s laneways, Cabrito Coffee Traders opened with little fanfare just a handful of days before Christmas. Now, with the silly season behind us and the CBD back in full swing, this neat little cafe below Bulletin Place Bar has come into its own.
“It used to be a little Japanese noodle place,” says owner Kit Cheong, who opened the space alongside business partner Michael Cookson. “We stripped a whole lot of stuff out – it looks totally different now.” With sleek grey walls, the rustic original wood floor and a section of preserved historic paintwork, he couldn’t have said it better.
The boys met through previous hospitality consulting gigs and, soon enough, a late night drink turned into a business plan for a cafe. They tell us they looked at a lot of sites right around the city – including one that fell through at the last minute – before finding their Bulletin Place digs.
A tight selection of sandwiches, toasties and lamingtons from Luscious Kiki (try the ambrosia, based on the eponymous salad) mean it’s a welcome addition to the city coffee landscape, and it’s open a little later than most hole-in-the-wall cafes.
There’s a lovely coffee roaster onsite, but they’re still haggling with the council over odour emissions. So for now, coffee is roasted in Melbourne by Cheong’s sister at Four Rascals Coffee, but fingers crossed this will change soon.
Keep an eye out for the goat logo – Cabrito is Spanish for ‘little goat’ after the myth that Ethiopian goats get high on coffee cherry.