The Localist

Small bar scene comes to country NSW

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Spring has definitely sprung in the countryside, and we seem to be celebrating with a paean to Orange’s incredible locally-grown food and wine. We’ve had a plethora of new cafes start trading, an art gallery open, and an impressive new cellar door for one of the most established wineries swing open its bluestone doors. The town is merrily bursting at the seams with providores, baristas, cooks, chefs, restauranteurs and bon vivants.

“Move over Surry Hills and Chippendale, frenetic opening action has found new fertile fields,” declared Good Food magazine last month, and they’re not wrong.

A very cool hybrid of café / milkbar and art gallery, Good Eddy has become my go-to-destination for salted caramel milkshakes. They seem to have just invented homemade finger bun doughnuts, and it’s possible to buy art and roses while you wait for your coffee.

To top it all off, Orange’s very first small bar has brought a little bit of the inner-city to our sophisticated corner of the countryside, and it’s a heady combination. Industrial chic paired with sharing plates, a boutique local wine list, craft beer on tap and a warm and inviting atmosphere have made this place the hottest place in town since opening two weeks ago.

Percy’s Bar & Kitchen is living proof of the adage – if you build it, they will come. Noticeably sleepy for several years, the citizens of Orange have become accustomed to arriving at events early and finishing early. For the last two weeks however, there’s been a noticeable mid-week buzz in the air with patrons of all ages enjoying the city street corner vibe.

The Corner Store Gallery is another charming addition to the local scene, hosting exhibitions by young, emerging local artists. With the best address in the world – located on the corner of Summer and Autumn Streets, in the upward swing suburb of East Orange – it’s very handy to grab a coffee from perennial local favourite Bill’s Beans and wander up the road for a shot of art immersion.

All of this augments the blossoming number of cosmopolitan cafes we already have here in Orange NSW, our two wine bars, our fine-dining establishments, and have I mentioned the 42 vineyards?! For a real taste of Orange and an insight into how lucky we are to be locals, visit in festival season which kicks off in February with the Banjo Paterson festival followed by Orange FOOD Week in April. You won’t want to go home.

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MEET THE LOCAL: KELLY-ANNE SMITH

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