We came across Kipling’s Garage Bar after a suggestion from a friend that lives in the local area of Turramurra. Early settlers referred to the area as Eastern Road, until the railway station was built in 1890.
This time, we arrive at our destination almost without incident, the only mishap being a slight detour into one way traffic in combination with hysterical giggles and a near miss of a pole in the centre of the road. The Bar’s location is opposite the Turramurra Station. We have a chat with Helen, the owner, to find out about this intimate establishment, which used to be a service station. The neglected building stood unoccupied for a number of years, before Helen decided to turn it into a lively, modern bar & restaurant.
VSD: How did you come across the premises and decide on a wine bar?
Having lived in the area for 14 years, we had seen this site go from working, to derelict over time. We felt there was a need for such a venue in the suburbs, as we noticed that people didn’t necessarily want to travel too far from home or go into the city for entertainment. Many in this area have young families and this gives them somewhere to go or bring their families. There was a huge demand for such a venue for older and younger patrons. We cater to a very diverse age group.
The magnificent steel pendants were sourced by the interior designer, Melissa from NestCOLOUR, at Z Two Lighting in Leichardt. The striking black and white tiles are imported from Italy and available at Terra Nova in Willoughby.
VSD: Where did you source the number plates, bottles and other great accessories from?
They were sourced from all over Sydney. Melissa found the vintage bottles and timber ladder at Doug up on Bourke in Waterloo and the number plates are from various trips overseas. I am always on the lookout for interesting books and relevant decorative pieces. Generous patrons have also donated items that they have had in their garages for years, which is great for us as custodians. Pot plants were from the local nursery Elegant Outdoors, who were terrific with their advice for outside landscaping.
VSD: How did you decide on the colour scheme and décor and what was your inspiration behind it?
The colour palette was a lengthy consultation between the interior designer, Melissa Day, and myself. She found the inspiration for the palette in the colours from the vine, to create intimacy within this large area. It also had to be reasonably neutral, as we wanted to keep the patina of the brick interior.
This colourful chair is another eye catching piece next to the fireplace and add a touch of drama, along with the outlandishly large gold framed mirror.
By utulising the walls of the interior for Tapas style benches, an informal atmosphere is created and more seating allocated to the space.
VSD: What was your biggest challenge during the renovation process?
The biggest challenge was the windows and doors. We managed to reclaim a hidden window, which had been bricked up above the left courtyard door. We relocated it to where it is now, on the Rohini St side. We had to create the look of steel doors using timber, as the cost of steel fabrication was prohibitive. Unfortunately, this slowed down the building phase, so it would probably have been more cost effective using steel.
VSD: We notice the steel beam running across the ceiling. Could you tell us about it?
All steel beams are original as well as the exterior posts which are part of the petrol bowser area. The site was decontaminated before we started the excavation and build.
The exposed brick walls, the use of raw timber tables and steel seating, add to the warmth and industrial style of the interior. To add more depth, timber flooring was used which was sourced from Randwick Racecourse.
The roller door and pulley are original features from the old garage and add a true industrial feel to the space.
Whether you like a delicious meal at lunch, or prefer tapas and drinks with friends for dinner, Kipling’s Garage Bar is the place for you. Pop in for a visit at 2 Eastern Road, Turramurra. They are open from 12 noon every day, with live music from 6:30 on Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays.
I know where I’m going this weekend!
Cheerio ’til next time!
Lyndie and Eriana
(*All the styling & photography for this blog post was done by the Vanilla Slate Team)