The little espresso bar in Mayfield has expanded!
A little over four years ago, Mayfield welcomed a new espresso bar to town, and ever since the locals (and out of towners) have grown to love the community-minded café so much so that owner, Leya, decided it was time to expand her venue; Onyx.
The passion project that has now led to a successful few years in business was created back in late 2016 when the mother/daughter crafty duo that is Kathy and Leya decided it was time to combine their talents and build themselves a homely little space full of tasty food and quality coffee.
“I love throwing a bit of a party and every year we remember to celebrate our birthday, more so than my own birthday! It’s just such a milestone for business to still be open and you get to celebrate with your community,” Leya said.
Now with Leya taking the reins and Kathy dropping in to help every now and again, Leya has taken the space to new heights with Onyx expanding into the space next door and renovations kicking off the new year.
“It’s my first business and it’s been a huge learning curve. From the moment we opened up until now I still haven’t stopped learning. The renovations just added a whole other aspect to it where I had to learn even more and how to facilitate a café as opposed to being more of a small espresso bar.”
Enjoying every second of the past four years, Leya was looking for a challenge and what’s not more challenging than running a business whilst tackling renovations?
“I honestly eyed off the pizza space next door the moment we signed the lease. But it’s a huge feat to even open and you’re so quiet, to begin with. It takes so long to build that customer base.
“My real estate approached me about a year or so ago and said how about we give you the pizza side, your current side, and the courtyard in your lease for a very reasonable price. So, this has been in the works for a long time and it took me about a year to get the right approvals, and then we just started building.”
Keeping with the same interior vibes of the café’s initial space, Onyx boasts darker tones and warm timber. With one wall featuring a unique mural painted by Leya’s mum and a stunning mural in the courtyard by Jordan Lucky, you can tell the Onyx team have a whole lot of love and appreciation for the creativity of Newcastle!
One thing that remains the same in the new space is the consistently divine coffee offering. With years of experience in the hospitality industry, it’s her love of coffee that set Leya off in the direction of originally starting up Onyx.
“I feel like I was made for this. I love coffee first and foremost. I started out with very basic coffee knowledge. But since opening I’ve been getting more into specialty coffee and my knowledge has just gone through the roof.”
Now working alongside Canberra based coffee roasters ONA, Leya is a long-time lover of the brand and is so passionate about what they’re doing for the world of coffee.
“Their coffee is just crazy good. I’ve always known about ONA and I first tried it when I was in the army… I was down on the base in Canberra and the only good coffee we could get to was the ONA Espresso Bar.
“I got to know the owner and how he was so passionate about making their coffee better and better and their product really shows. I went to their espresso bar in Marrickville and it just blew my mind and I knew I needed to have their coffee.”
Whether you’re dropping in for a morning coffee, setting up your portable work desk for a few hours, or heading in for a catchup or work meeting, Onyx has you covered not only in the coffee department but with their extensive breakfast and lunch menu offering.
“Before we were just doing breakfast but with this new space, we’ve really been able to expand on that which is really exciting. We’re now able to do big breakfasts and be a bit more diverse. I’ll be keeping the old favourites as well as lots more lunch menus.”
The Onyx team has also just kicked off their pizza nights where diners can drop in for a dine-in or takeaway house-made pizza from Thursdays through Saturdays from 5pm. With nine topping offerings and a BYO license, pull up a seat and relax into those late afternoons with chilled out vibes at Onyx.
“I was definitely inspired by Westside, and I wanted to offer some nice food to Mayfield because we don’t have a lot of options. The pubs are awesome, but this is offering that bit of diversity.”
Leya’s plans for Onyx don’t just stop following the recent renos and the launching of pizza nights. The Mayfield based café is hoping to get their courtyard back open to the public, get some live music happening and potentially even get a liquor license one day! To learn more about Onyx’s courtyard space, check out their petition here.
After spending a bit of time with Leya to hear about the cafe's recent changes and plans for the future, it’s not hard to feel her passion for Onyx and wanting to bring nothing but good to the Mayfield community. Whether it’s a morning coffee, lunchtime meet-up, pizza night out, or a Sunday morning brunch, drop into Onyx and give this local-minded café a bit of extra love!