JOEL Syme doesn’t do anything by halves. The Novocastrian has just opened his first cafe and it’s in the most competitive dining precinct in Newcastle, and open from 7am until 11pm.
That’s right. Terminus on Darby serves breakfast, lunch, dinner and even late night cocktails.
“I felt it was time to push myself and I was up for the challenge,” Syme, who has a background in hospitality and customer service, said.
“I wanted to create a venue for people to enjoy great drinks and a variety of food options – something different for Darby Street.”
The first point of difference, Syme says, is the fit-out.
“Our relaxed, fresh and open design suits anyone who wants to hide away from the daily grind. We have had mothers’ groups come in, people playing cards and big group bookings,” he said.
“The previous decor was very dark, outdated and did not make good use of the space.”
The second? Catering for time-poor workers on the run.
“I noticed a gap in Darby Street trading – quick lunches for those who work in the area – and since we are up the business end of the street and not far from the civic and courthouse precinct, it seemed like a perfect fit,” Syme said.
“Our display fridge has fresh gourmet salads, wraps and yoghurts as well as breakfast or lunch grab-and-go options.
“We are also happy to cater and deliver for office lunch meetings.”
By night Terminus on Darby has a small bar feel, offering cocktails and other beverages as well as bar snacks, share plates and mains. From 6pm on Thursdays it’s tapas night, where you can order a beer, wine or cocktail and grab a tapas dish for $4.
“It’s a really relaxed atmosphere and it’s this combination of a small bar with great meals that you don’t find anywhere else along Darby,” Syme said.
“Terminus is both a cafe and bar in the one venue, and you can really settle in for the evening as we dim the lights and light the candles.
“We pride ourselves on friendliness and since it is not a large venue, we can really look after our customers.
“We want to be a place people can call their local and enjoy without a big crowd drowning their conversation.”
The team enjoy experimenting with cocktails and Syme advised readers to keep an eye on social media for “happy hour” announcements.
“As for our coffee, it is our pride and joy,” he said.
“We serve a blend that is mellow, balanced and not bitter, and we have a rewards program which is a simple app on your mobile phone.”
Terminus on Darby is at 88 Darby Street, Cooks Hill.