Just when you thought that Surry Hills couldn’t possibly squeeze in another espresso machine, a new cafe has popped up. Situated next to Bourke Street School and just a stone’s throw from Bourke Street Bakery, Cowbell 808 is a funky new spot taking the form of retro 80s flashback meets Surry Hills cool.

Owners Lennie Watts and Sean Demicoli named the venue after the Roland TR-808 drum machine, which was popular in the 80s amongst R&B and hip-hop artists for its electronic cowbell sound.

Their love of 80s music and culture flows through the place, with a hip-hop-inspired graffiti feature wall, basketball hoop and shelves lined with boom boxes, a record player and vintage roller skates. There’s even a solid collection of vinyl that staff and customers can chose from to create their own musical backdrop.

As Watts explains, “Sean and I are huge fans of 80s music, so wanted to create a cafe that was a fun place for locals to grab a bite to eat and listen to some great tunes. We’ve only been open a few days and already customers are already bringing in their own records.”

House blended organic coffee, breakfast and lunch dishes feature on the all-day menu, with some interesting options including chai rice porridge with poached pear and homemade coconut yoghurt with banana, as well as the staples of sandwiches, burgers and sweet treats. Nearly everything here is made fresh on the premises, from bread and cakes through to yoghurt and house-smoked bacon.

Cowbell 808
616 Bourke Street, Surry Hills
(02) 9698 5044

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