Coffee, homewares and views at Belmont
Welcome to Common Circus - the not-so-secret waterfront homewares sanctuary with excellent coffee and sweet snacks.
It’s an oxymoron, a common circus, which I guess describes what is going on in this beautiful shop come café, it’s eclectic and colourful, magnificent and breath taking, but welcoming, homely and relaxing for us commoners.
Common Circus is the ultimate room with a view, as I a chat to owner Lauren I am constantly gazing across the road at the glistening shores of Lake Macquarie. With the stand-up paddle boarders gracefully cruising by, or the yachts leaving the wharf for the day, the Belmont foreshore is picture perfect, and I simply can’t take my eyes away from it.
It’s been over five years since the doors to Common Circus opened and Lauren and the Common Circus team have been run off their feet ever since. From day dot they’ve been busy with locals lapping up the coffee and appreciating the constantly evolving retail space.
Over the past five years, Common Circus has become so much more than a café and retail space, becoming Belmont’s ultimate community hub.
“The biggest thing for us right now, is the community aspect of it. I had a lot of selfish reasons to open, and I didn’t expect the people aspect. Now, when I come down here when I do, I like to be able to say hi to people by their name and know everyone in here and being able to contribute to this area,” Lauren told me.
The brands stocked are primarily Australian designers along with eclectic pops of colour and a sustainable and ethical edge. With pieces for the home, gifts for friends and family, and even a dedicated kids area, there’s a bit of something for everyone. Currently stocking the following brands; Seed & Sprout, Ahoy Trader Tiles, The Beach People, Huskee Cups, Kip & Co and so much more.
“Things are constantly changing and so are we – that’s why we are a circus, ever-adapting and moving forward. There is nothing more special to us than to know that we have contributed positively to someone’s life, and even more simply to their day.”
Now, onto the circus act; the coffee and the food. With beans from well-known favourites Glee Coffee Roasters, the coffee is bold, flavoursome and big-hearted. Served in what we consider the best-looking cups across town, featuring work by Central Coast artist Bonnie Gray. With different designs for each of the sizes, they all tell a story relevant to Common Circus.
“I started seeing a lot of her work and became a little bit obsessed with it…I just got talking with her, and I’d wanted to do custom cups forever. She’d designed three designs for the three cup sizes, she absolutely nailed it. There are also stories within each of the cup sizes as well. We told her about the journey of here, as well as stories of our customers.”
Accompanied by an easy-going menu with all your café favourites; avo on toast, toasties, granola and salads; Common Circus works for those looking for a quick stop-in or even for those looking to spend the day.
“We don’t try to be fancy or trick anything up. We keep it simple and we make sure the simple is delicious…no tricks, just honest food.”
Common Circus is still a destination for non-locals to visit but has become one hell of a community hub in Belmont. With that breathtaking view, that relaxing homely feel, the scrumptious food and coffee and of course the never-ending friendly smiles from Lauren, the staff and the locals making the space absolutely priceless.
“We live for the chats and catch ups with locals and Common Circus regulars. When you come into Common Circus, you should feel part of the family and connected… our community, our tribe is why we exist – come and join in on the fun!”
Wanting to give back to locals, Lauren and the team have created community events to help bring locals together and share the love of the area. With free community yoga on the first Saturday of every Month; we think we might have just found the best way to kick off the weekend.
“Yes, we’re a café and yes we’re a retail space, but what do the community want out of a café and retail space. I think the biggest thing is that sense of belonging. I thought, what better way to give back and attract more people down here. We now do common community yoga across the road once a month.
“It’s free, just come and bring a mat. The idea is to just get up and start your weekend right and slow. That’s just all about what I wanted this space to be. Somewhere you can get up and go in the morning, get your coffee and read the paper.”
Where: Foreshore | Common Circus
When: 7 Mar | 7am