By Meg Francis
My relationship with coffee began as a teenager, and like all first relationships, it was sickly sweet and far too co-dependent. At first it kept me awake at night but slowly our romance blossomed into a constant and stable affair that never tore my down and was the first thing I wanted to see in the morning.
I would describe myself as the average Josephine coffee lover. My preference for soy cappuccinos has led me to begin a quest throughout Newcastle for the best coffee haunts and houses, and to share my knowledge and findings. Tucked away in a tiny street just off Hunter Street, Bank Corner, which has been open since 2011, is a little Art Deco gem that truly embodies the coffee revolution sweeping through Newcastle in the last few years.
This Narnia of Newcastle (located on Bellevue Street) is rich with style and originality beyond it’s exterior. Polished hardwood floors and old jazz projected throughout the building combine to lull its patrons back to the 20’s. Wander deeper inside Bank Corner and you’ll be surprised by a pleasant little and open courtyard with an eclectic array of chairs and tables where a large chandelier floating above makes you simultaneously fall into something out of Arabian Nights and Midnight in Paris.
An array of Viennese pastries and cakes await your tasting pleasure, so overindulge during a lazy afternoon as the ambience lulls you into an almost Parisian dream. If you’re drifting more towards something more savoury, then Banker Corner offers a mouth-watering selection of Toasties, Panini, and breakfast delights that will leave you well and truly satisfied (and potentially having to recline).
But most importantly, the coffee is consistently good which is only another testament to the craft of the resident baristas. Strong and smooth (like every man should be), Bank Corner uses a wonderfully aromatic blend that combines the sultry darkness of the beans and high quality soy to perfect a damn good soy cappuccino.
Noteworthy is that all coffees are made with a double shot, so people insisting on flavoured syrups should bypass this haunt. Formerly a branch of the Bank of NSW, the owner, Tony Gluck, has used the structural design and interior decor to create an authentic and ‘hipster’ experience and is very alike to something found down a laneway in Melbourne. Fitting in effortlessly with the underrated grungy charm of Hunter Street, Bank Corner is unspoiled by trying to appeal to the ‘commercial coffee trade’ and instead is a diamond in the rough. So if you find yourself in search of an excellent coffee with a cool atmosphere, or even just need an escape from the daily hustle and bustle, then Bank Corner is your place.