Hamilton North’s newest foodie spot
Hamilton North may not be a suburb that you're overly familiar with, where even is it, you might ask? Well, now you have one very tasty reason to visit, and it's all because of the local eatery, ELMAs.
The old home of crowd-favourite Clyde St Café has undergone a complete transformation following new owners, Nathan and Isla, having taken over the space earlier this year in May.
Having decided to move to Newcastle from Sydney, the young couple and their little ones had decided for a change of scenery, and before they knew it, they were tackling relocation, and a café renovation amidst another covid lockdown!
“We just decided to buy a café instead. We were looking all around NSW and Newcastle was on our shortlist anyway because my mum’s family is from here originally. I came up and met the broker, and he suggested we come and visit this place. We said we wanted outdoor, typical suburban, kid-friendly, and dog-friendly,” Nathan shared.
Paying homage to the history of the building, Nathan and Isla have renamed the café to ELMAs; an acronym for the original name of the venue, Electric Lampwork Manufacturing Australia.
“It was nicknamed ELMAS affectionately by the workers. It opened in 1923, and it shut down in 2002. It was almost 80 years and it made about 85% of the light globes in Australasia.”
Heading out to their refreshed dining space, let your eyes wander around the space and discover the collection of historic documents donning the walls. Chatting to Nathan about the space, his enthusiasm for turning this into not only a café, but almost a museum to the site's past just oozes out in conversation.
“We’ve enlisted some heritage specialists because our entire business model is focussed on ELMAs. We’ve got pictures and memorabilia all over the space from the original building. Ultimately, it’s going to be an ELMAs museum.”
So, what about the food?
Well, having taken over from the foodie-focussed past owners, the new team have decided to stick with the original foodie offering but bringing in some of their own favourite dishes to add more options to the menu.
“The biggest drawcard for us taking over this café was that the previous owners’ daughter, Harriet, is a really talented chef. We got from her, this beautiful menu, and specials that she was rotating all the time. Think beautiful organic produce, homemade pickled ingredients, and light and bright dishes.”
Whether you’re after a healthy colourful dish to start your day off or are in need of a greasy big breakfast meal, the menu caters for it all! Onto the all-important coffee, the ELMAs crew have enlisted help from one of our favourite local coffee roasters, Ellie from Tapestry Coffee.
Having only opened up fully since restrictions were lifted, the team has pitched a four-phase plan to become a fully licensed café. From kicking things off with food and drinks served in compostable containers and a zero-waste composting service introduced, all the way through to phase three with a wine and dine license, to a cheeky addition with phase four.
Keen diners can drop by and pick-up their food and drink takeaway or pull up a seat in the recently renovated dining space our enjoy the sunshine in their expansive outdoor area.
Pitching themselves as a kid, dog, and human refuge with specialty coffee, worldly dishes, and private functions, you can visit ELMAs knowing you’re in for a great, relaxing, and overall friendly experience.