Working on the principle of contrast, Alfie & Hetty has opened its old-world doors in newly bar-laden Glebe. Named after a notorious standover man and a matron well known for her personal charity, the story goes that ‘Alfie’ and ‘Hetty’ were neighbours at the double-fronted Glebe Point Road terrace location in the early 1920s.
“The namesakes have changed [we assume to protect the innocent], but the story behind it is all true,” says Alfie & Hetty’s Justin Windle, who has a 17-year history in hospitality and took over the space (once Guerrilla restaurant) just five weeks ago. Local archives, newspaper clippings and a spiritual cleanser all contributed to uncovering the Alfie & Hetty story, which is right at home in the National Trust-listed terrace, which dates back to 1883.
“I always wanted to take it back to this kind of dining house feel. It’s such a beautiful building, why would you do anything else?” says Windle.
As such, you can expect a touch of wartime elegance, bootlegging glamour and a nod to respectability all mixed together at the new restaurant and bar – and it’s particularly focused on the local aspect.
“We’ve done it all by word of mouth. I think it’s nicer that way…and it’s important for us to really get to know our locals.”
The restaurant portion of the venue is named for Hetty and serves a roast that is inspired by the roasts of Hetty Stapleton, who was renowned for sharing her cooking with locals. French chef Benjamin Loiseau is in the kitchen and the menu is divided into ‘ocean’, ‘land’ and ‘earth’ and has a special section dedicated to Hetty’s roasts for two. There’s even turducken or suckling pig on offer if you want to book for a larger group.
While the nifty upstairs bar area is named for Alfie White in honour of the speakeasy that he reportedly ran from his own upstairs rooms back in the day, today it’s perfect for sipping on a more legal colony cocktail or a sidecar.
These two are worth getting to know.
Alfie & Hetty
209 Glebe Point Road, Glebe
(02) 8957 0652
Dinner Tues to Sun 6pm–midnight (with lunches planned for the future)