A space once devoted to all things sausage is now a venue that combines a record store with a diner, offering small plates, craft beer and independent Australian music. The former home of The Sausage Factory in Dulwich Hill is now Lazy Thinking, a mash-up venue from Jim Flanagan, who co-owned The Sausage Factory with ex-partner and business partner Chrissy Flanagan of Chaotic Social.
Jim has long wanted to bring his passion for music and food together. “[When travelling], I’ve found engaging in local music and food to be the quickest way of getting under the skin of a new part of the world,” he tells Broadsheet. “I’ve run a small record label for years, Lazy Thinking Records, and work as a producer when I’m not peeling kohlrabi [for the restaurant].”
Jim spent four months “begging” his favourite music labels and artists to send posters and flyers to decorate the space. “Every inch of the walls in the dining room is covered in them. It took an absolute age,” he says. This eclectic wallpaper forms a backdrop to the centrepiece – a timber record stand custom-designed by Naser Ali of Marrickville-based Studio Selah housing music and merch.
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The collection spans indie-rock, hip-hop, metal, garage, hardcore and electronica, with an emphasis on experimental sounds. “This is definitely the place to discover lesser known, awesome artists and labels doing really great things,” he says. Plans are also in the pipeline for Sunday-night gigs.
The menu features interesting snacks (like a trio of almonds, macadamias and “trashews” or a “handful of olives”) and small plates (like golden-syrup-doused anchovies on toast). There’s also a twice-cooked bacon chop from Whole Beast Butchery’s Marcus Papadopoulo, cut specifically for Lazy Thinking. The chops are baked, then seared on both sides and served with an apricot and cardamom sauce and kohlrabi and watermelon radish salad.
There are nods to The Sausage Factory heritage too: a skinless Cambodian pork sausage known as a sach krok is accompanied by a vibrant side plate laden with pistachios, shaved pineapple, betel leaves and a fiery sour sauce; and a fancy mititei sanga puts a beef and pork version of the Romanian sausage between two slices of Wonder White, with crème fraîche dijonnaise, watercress, pickled red onion and desert lime.
Like the music, the beer is all-Aussie and mainly local. The house drops come from Queens of Chaos, founded by Jim and Chrissy but now owned by two former Sausage Factory regulars Courtney Craig and Justin Burton. Choose between “pale-ish ale” The Boss and Pash Rash, a sour with hints of rhubarb, pineapple and hibiscus. There are several winter-friendly dark beers currently on tap, including Bridge Road’s “mind-blowing” Shrooms of Doom Umami Stout and Slow Lane’s Ton of Bricks, a rum-barrel-aged imperial stout. “I have a bit of a soft spot for breweries producing lesser-known styles, so we’re always going to stock great stuff from Slow Lane, One Drop, Beer Fontaine and Kicks,” says Jim.
As for the venue’s name, it arose from a conversation about mental laziness. “The world is a very complicated place,” Jim says. “Straightforward, simple answers are usually wrong and not to be trusted. It’s the same in music. I like music that requires a little bit of work from the audience.”