Influential Inner West Cafe Cornersmith Is Closing Down at the End of February

The beloved Annandale cafe is shutting its doors — but the team promises "Cornermsith isn't over!".
Ben Hansen and Samantha Teague
February 15, 2024

Sydneysiders, you've got just two more weeks to visit the much-loved Annandale cafe Cornersmith, with the team announcing today, Thursday, February 15, that the beloved community spot will be closing at the end of February 2024.

When Cornersmith first opened in Marrickville in 2012, it was a game changer. Its commitment to ethical and sustainable food production, community engagement and food waste — as well as great-tasting brunch fare — was an instant hit with Sydneysiders, inspiring the launch of a highly popular series of cooking and pickling workshops, a second cafe in Annandale and multiple cookbooks.

While Marrickville shut its doors back in 2019, Alex Elliott-Howery, James Grant and the Cornersmith team kept the vision running over in Annandale. But, the duo has decided it's time to take a temporary step back.

Thankfully, Annandale locals won't be left without their daily caffeine fix once Cornersmith calls it a day. The team has confirmed that "an awesome new cafe coming into the space".

In good news for anyone hoping to learn to pickle their own goods or make their own kombucha, the Cornersmith cooking school will continue to run out of The Foodlab Kitchen in Strathfield. And Elliott-Howery and Grant also promise that this isn't a goodbye forever, but rather a see you soon.

"The short story is we are closing the Annandale cafe doors at the end of the month and having a breather from the intensity of running our own hospo business," reads the pair's statement. "Cornersmith isn't over! We're just ready for the next chapter in our business and life."

"We are keeping the Cornersmith name with us and will re-emerge in a new format. We are determined to use our knowledge and experience to help solve the growing issues in the food and hospitality industry."

The statement also promises they're working hard on plans for how to distribute Cornersmith's much-loved range of pickles, preserved goods and chilli — and thanks the Sydney hospitality community and Annandale locals for their unwavering support over the last 12 years.

"We started Cornersmith with the aim to feed Inner Westies delicious food and coffee, to build a food community and get people thinking about what they eat and their place in our complex food system. And we feel like we have done that. Cornersmith grew much bigger than us. It took on a life of its own and like lots of small businesses it has often felt like it was in control of us rather than the other way around!"

So far, there's no information on what the new cafe moving into 88 View Street will look like — but for the time being, you can head down to the friendly neighbourhood eatery for one last Scando breakfast, toastie and coffee, or to stock up on jars pickles, marmalade and chilli jam.

Cornersmith Annandale will close at 88 View Street, Annandale, at the end of February 2024. You can read Alex and James' full statement via the Cornersmith website.

Published on February 15, 2024 by Ben Hansen
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