Eat & Drink


The Hamilton cafe that has loads of character and quality coffee

Have you noticed the massive up-yours sign as you drive through the railway gates in Hamilton, and wondered, "What?"

Does the name Ronnie Biggs mean anything to you? If not, here’s a quick recap.

James, Alex and Steve
James, Alex and Steve

Ronnie was one of the men behind the Great Train Robbery of 1963, and the two-finger salute that sits proudly at the entrance to Biggs café in Hamilton is a tribute to one of Ronnie’s finest moments.

So what does Ronnie Biggs have to do with a café in Newcastle?

Brought to you by co-owners James, Steve and Alex, when we caught up with the trio James explained what Biggs is all about,

‘We wanted to do something train related that wasn’t that café you see at train stations called ‘TRAX’, or ‘wrong side of the tracks’. Ronnie was train-related and also comes with a pretty cool story’.

‘We also liked that Ronnie had a connection to Australia. He spent a couple of years here after he broke out of jail. They were close to getting an extradition treaty so they could get him back to the UK and arrest him, but he jumped on a plane to Brazil where he lived a playboy life for the next 35 years.’

What about the up-yours? Well, that was the message Ronnie gave to journalists when he attended the funeral of robbery mastermind Bruce Reynolds, which also happened to be his last public appearance.

Small in size but big on energy, Biggs is focused on serving quality coffee, using beans from Glitch. When it comes to the food, the trio worked with Steve's partner Abi to create a tasty grab-and-go style cafe menu that features all your fav on-the-run eats. Order yourself either a takeaway coffee or if you're not in a rush have a seat and catch the always interesting Beaumont St outlook.

Formerly a convenience store/book shop, James explains that it’s taken two years from cafe concept to opening day but the wait, and paperwork, have been worth it.

‘I love doing things a bit differently and since we’ve opened Biggs has exceeded my expectations. It’s been a really long process to get it to where it is but we’ve persevered because we just love the space and the area.’

Opening from 5am, 7 days a week Biggs has the official title of Newcastle’s earliest coffee opener.

The trio have loads of ideas for the space and over time will work out how best to use every square inch of it, in the meantime, you would be best to keep your eye on Biggs, and drop in for a coffee.