Islington’s community café gets a fresh look
The well-known green façade on Islington’s end of Beaumont Street has had a subtle change of appearance with the former Suspension Espresso now known as Slingtown Islington.
Over the years, there are a few things that have become a staple in the personality of the suburb of Islington. The vintage and pre-loved stores, the forever-growing creative community, and the longstanding Beaumont Street coffee haunt, Slingtown.
With current owners, Chris and Steph taking over the reins in 2007, the past 15+ years have seen Slingtown become more than just a spot for coffee and food, but a community hub for creativity, a home built for fostering relationships, and the beating heart of a suburb and the people that call Islington home.
“Since 2007, we’ve gone from having just one little gun barrel space, then taking over two, then three to now having this grand open café on Beaumont Street. It’s been really lovely and organic growth,” says Chris.
In March this year, the venue officially changed its name from Suspension Espresso to Slingtown, a nod to the venue’s geographical location and setting the brand up for more venues to come (more on that later).
“We had the name, Slingtown, bubbling away for a few years as a bit of a retail brand. So, when it came to the reband, it was a bit of a no-brainer.”
Other than a slight name change, and a fresh approach to their coffee, the grungy café space remains renowned for its coffee and community.
“We’ve always been incredibly community focussed. There’s always been something a bit magical about this space. I guess, we see ourselves more as custodians of this space as opposed to being a café owner.”
“It really doesn’t feel like we own the business, it really feels like everyone who steps through the doors here is a part owner,” Steph elaborated.
The venue has recently become known for playing host to numerous local artists exhibitions and the offering fits perfectly with their unique space as well as the surrounding residents.
“People were always asking if they can put their work on the walls, plus it really is just always buzzing with artists in here working away,” Chris shared.
Serving both breakfast and lunch, Slingtown Islington’s kitchen is home to tasty, homely, and healthy dishes with some big changes coming, (but don’t stress, they’ll keep their staples on the menu)!
“We want to do a real salad-based offering with some add-ons as well as some really boujee pies which will be perfect for winter.
“We’ve always been really bread and sandwich focussed, so we’re excited to bring some more salad offerings to the menu. Think beautiful roast veggies, roast chooks, pastries, and salads.”
Getting back to that mention about expanding the Slingtown brand, dedicated followers and the Carrington community will be excited to hear that Slingtown Carrington is not far from opening their kiosk up to the public.
The warehouse on Young St will be a bit of a home base for the Slingtown brand; where the distribution and bean production magic happens alongside some future plans for tastings, training, and of course their soon-to-launch kiosk space.
Not just a space dedicated to coffee, the pair have transformed upstairs into a creative residency area, already home to a collective of artists across multiple disciplines including Bridget Byer of BRB Ceramics and Cal Lynch of Curtis 925.
“There’s a real range of artists in there. The creatives we have here in Newcastle are just amazing,” Steph said.
Slingtown Islington has built a cult-like community following, and we have no doubt Slingtown Carrington will build up the same experience. Watch this space!