Barista meets barber at this teeny Surry Hills cafe.
November 04, 2012
It's a rare sight these days in Sydney to have your coffee made by someone who doesn't have some form of facial hair or a sleeve tatt. Cleveland's is no exception.
There's a merging of barbering and baristing at Cleveland's, which has settled in neatly next to the Norfolk Hotel. The joint venture by well-known barista Harry Levy and professional hairdresser Patrick Casey is a place where you can get a coffee with your haircut, or a haircut with your coffee.
But let it be known: the focus is on the café here, and you won't be seeing hair in your latte. Exposed brick in the café streamlines into polished white tiles for the salon and the glass wall that separates the two, maintains the sense of inclusiveness as you watch Levy and Casey at work.
And Levy and Casey sure are fine pedigrees in their respective professions. There is a complimentary Irish coffee for those getting the trim, but rest assured you don't need to calm your nerves with a whisky if Casey is holding the scissors. Harvesting over ten years experience, including a four-year stint at Pimps & Pinups in London, Casey is proud to be continuing the snipping tradition in the former barbershop. And this namesake shouldn't deter ladies: you don't need to have a moustache to sit in the chair.
Levy is a seasoned barista, reproducing a fine cup of Little Marionette coffee ($3.50), one of his former employers among a string of others that include Black Star Pastry, El Capo and Porteno. The open kitchen allows you to observe Levy hone his skills; try his homemade pear & rhubarb compote with muesli ($8) or tuck into some Luxe Bakery toasted sourdough ($4) or sweet pastries (from $3.50). Team this with the sublime flat white, and you've found yourself a winner.
For something more substantial, Cleveland's has teamed up with Hungry Mondays, gourmet take home food prepared by local chefs every Monday. With a couple of slow cooked dishes such as chicken tagine or lamb and sweet potato curry ($9) on offer, it's a great alternative to the tin of baked beans you know you were going home to.
With a stylish fitout of vintage barber chairs, weathered leather couches and wooden benches, there is no sense of obligation to enjoy both concepts in the one visit. It's chilled out at Cleveland's; kick back with a decent espresso, have a chat with Harry over a game of chess or make an appointment with Casey to get some pruning done.