Although Bondi isn’t lacking in cosy, vibe-heavy bars, Makaveli brings an energetic feel to a pared-back fit-out via superb snacks, small plates and a perfected cocktail list.
The 28-seat eatery and bar on Glenayr Avenue is the latest from Jacob Hill and Phill Cooke (ex-Milpa Collective) – two mates from England who have hands-on hospo experience, a lifelong desire to open their own bar, and a group of friends who were eager to jump on board.
The friends-as-staff model translates to a fun and relaxed energy. “We didn’t put any ads out, the team is just people we’ve known for many years,” Hill tells Broadsheet. “I’ve always said, ‘One day, I’m gonna open my own place’, and when we told them it was happening they’ve all been like, ‘I’m coming to work for you’.”
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You’ll dine on plates laden with snackable salty-spicy peppers or bresaola topped with acidy artichokes. There’s a dish of just-charred purple broccolini with a garlicky capsicum sauce; and burrata and greens, ricotta with roasted grapes, and taleggio croquettes on the cheesy side of things. Make sure you don’t skip the bread, to save missing a umami whip of Vegemite butter.
Cooke is steering the cocktails and takes inspiration from working in bars in Greece, Manchester and Sydney. “I’ve made so many cocktail menus for other bars, it’s so exciting for [Jacob and me to] finally do our own. At our soft opening, the placement of every garnish for me had to be perfect, like [I was] making it for my best friend.”
There’s a floral, pastel-hued sour; the smooth Makaveli Espresso, which combines a fresh shot of coffee and tequila; and classics like a Garibaldi and Charlie Chaplin. Hill’s pick is The Willowdene, nostalgically named after the Manchester street he grew up on. It’s a highball that balances fresh watermelon juice, sour citrus, elderflower liqueur, and a lemongrass and makrut lime gin, which is infused in-house.
The night-time offering is the drawcard but the venue is opening from 6am until midday every day, too. “Phill and I have a huge background in evening [venues],” Hill says. “But we fell in love with the morning culture in Sydney, so we decided we couldn't not do it all.”
Local produce is a priority, with Will & Co coffee, baked goods from Clovelly’s Tuga Pastries and a line-up of topped slabs of Brickfields focaccia. There’s also plenty of power sockets – a gamechanger for a neighbourhood full of those maximising surf sessions with WFH flex hours.
Imogen Reed (Bar Lucia, Taqiza) designed the interiors, keeping the colour palette muted with a focus on texture. Tamarama-based Porch Ceramics crafted bespoke light fittings, as well as off-white cups for morning coffees. Makaveli’s mood will change throughout the day, with the lights turning down low and the music shifting gears.
“We understand what busy cafes are like, and we understand what the Bondi people want,” says Hill. “We’re going to be a small space, [with a] big personality.”
Makaveli is now open at Shop 2/179 Glenayr Avenue, Bondi
Shop 2/179 Glenayr Avenue, Bondi
0428 288 697
Wed to Sun 5pm–late