The Oily George is not an ode to your local mechanic; it’s a fuel station for the under-caffeinated on Georgetown Road, Georgetown. Step off the street into this family joint with two shopfronts, two windows and a small happy barista and it’s bustling with locals. Owner Liz likes to describe it as being more akin to a pub; people linger by the standing window bench, sharing stories, drinking brew after brew and on the way out take a bag of grinds for the road. The OG’s staff form a close-knit family who pride themselves on always having a charitable cause to support each month, such as Share the Dignity and local sporting clubs and schools.
There is something to look at from floor to ceiling, like cutesy polaroids and blackboard quotes, but the real showstopper sprawls across the back wall: natives, sunflowers and other assorted blooms make a bold mural, painted by the very talented Hayley Smith.
This particular former butcher’s locality wasn’t the original home of The George. Some of you may remember they started in an old Victorian building adjacent to the fruit shop, which caused a stir – ‘to save façade or not to save façade’; that was the question. Their original setup is now a dirt lot holding memories of an icon, but like the brave phoenix, the Oily George was regenerated from the ashes of its predecessor.
Liz and family are not new to the coffee game. There’s the Good Oil at Wallsend and, up until recently, the Oily May at Mayfield, which formed their liquid monopoly of coffee in the outer burbs, so their game is strong here. They serve house-made vegan slice and kickass kombucha, but the real McCoy is the expertly poured custom blend coffee.
The local tabloid paper might not have the inside scoop on The George’s no-fuss coffee supplier, but Newcastle Mirage can tell you it’s all thanks to Peak Coffee in Port Macquarie, which only one or two other cafés in Newcastle serve. It’s got holiday vibes all over it – just like Newcastle.
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