Growing up, I knew the building best as Vera's Sewing Centre, but with extensive renovations, the space is unrecognisable. The walls are stripped back to the original brickwork, with vintage posters hinting at the building's original tenants (and namesake), Humber Cycles. Steel bench tops complete with rivets reflect the Steelworks heritage of Wollongong, and the accents of teal and golden lighting are a welcome reminder of Wollongong's serene beaches.
Owner Adam Murphy.
Buzzing with customers eager to eat at Wollongong's latest eatery, we sat comfortably at the communal table to soak in the atmosphere. The open kitchen invites you to watch and smell the magic, as the chefs take locally sourced ingredients and turn them into delicious and inspired meals. Humber's commitment to sourcing a minimum of 50% of produce within 100kms of Wollongong is the perfect enticement for lunch-goers to support local and reinforces the revitalisation of the area.
Our party of four ordered the 'Roast Veggie Salad with Chicken', 'The Humburger', and the 'Southern Grilled Chicken Burger'. Both burgers come with hero fries – and they are easily the best fries I've ever eaten (and I don't say that lightly). I had a bite of both burgers, and then sadly went back to my salad. Don't get me wrong – the salad was fine – but do yourself a favour and get the burger.
The open kitchen.
The fresh juices were refreshing for a hot summer's day (and helped with the hangover!) and really hit the spot. I ordered the 'Veggie Boost' and it had the perfect amount (read: a lot) of ginger. I ended my meal with a long black, made with White Horse coffee from Sutherland.
Intended to be a 3-level rooftop bar and café, the beautifully renovated premises hit a disappointing snag in October when their liquor license was refused. Unfortunately, the large number of boutique bars popping up in Wollongong have made it difficult for more to enter the market – although in this writer's opinion, variety is the spice of life and the more on-trend premises, the better.
A sneak peak of the view from the rooftop.
I was fortunate enough to get a sneak peak at the rooftop with owner Adam Murphy, and it is easy to predict what a great little spot this will be for a relaxed drink with friends when the license does finally goes through. Fingers crossed for the review hearing in February.