From their humble beginnings of a 10m2 nook-style espresso bar at the Queen Victoria Building in 1994, owners Kerrie Moore and Beng Lim of Bar Cupola have built an espresso empire.
Currently residing within Sydneys Angel Place for the past 17 years, Bar Cupola now boasts a huge 300m2 of floor space.
Responding to a severe shortage of quality, European-style espresso bars in Sydney back then, Kerrie and Beng decided to take matters into their own hands.
We opened up a little espresso bar back in 1994, when there was a lack of genuine espresso bars in Sydney, Beng says.
Owned and operated by the husband and wife team since their first espresso bar venture at Sydneys Queen Victoria Building in 1994, Beng is proud of their achievements.
We actually created a prototype for many, many Sydney future espresso bars. Everyone was in awe with what we could do with 10m2 of space, he says.
Bar Cupola was modelled after many of the Italian Espresso Bars that you see in Europe, like in Milan, Rome and Florence for example.
Styled on the quintessential Italian espresso bar, Bar Cupola serves up an infamous four-bean Colombian coffee blend of their own formula, roasted by local coffee roasters.
We dont use any mainstream coffee brand; weve been using this particular blend for the past 17 years, he says.
Complementing the exotic South American coffee aromas, is Bar Cupolas range of food which spans from a hearty breakfast and artisan-style little treats, to a wholesome lunch and occasional dinners for the adjoining City Recital Hall.
We offer a combination of European meals with some Asian flare. There are not many restaurants who can do good Asian food in a western context restaurant, he says.
Weve devised a menu that has something for everyone, Beng says, listing curries, prawn linguine, salads, and burgers to name a few. Good comfort food at reasonable prices.
The venue at Bar Cupola is impressive, with a triple volume space and is graced by a long mural by Australian Artist John Young. One would never guess that the space explodes into this huge voluminous room likened to a New York style gallery. Bar Cupola also caters for many different occasions from private Cocktail functions (up to 250 people) to Sit Down Dinners for 80 covers. Beng says, At Angel Place, the Building itself offers a variety of spaces for hire ranging from a Conference Center to the Northern Lobby.
With no external frontage, Bar Cupola survives solely on word-of-mouth to attract new customers.
Everyone here is a regular, Beng says, For those who venture in for the first time, almost everyone is in awe with the space and what we offer here.
We dont have any street exposure at Angel Place. You could walk past the building and not know we are in the building. But now 17 years later, everyone knows we are here.
We wouldnt be where we are today without the regular supporters, because our business survives on regular patronage.
As one of the very few cafes who dont open on weekends, Bar Cupola styles themselves as a casual restaurant which caters for weekday corporate meetings.
With large boardroom-style tables, Bar Cupola enables patrons to escape the confines of their offices for their business meetings.
We have specifically targeted major corporate offices who want to network and have business meetings away from their office, he says.
When asked about their plans for the future, Beng became excited, but couldnt reveal too much:
Watch this space! There could be something in the offering, but we are not sure yet. Possibly within the same building, he says.
With such friendly owners and indulgent coffee, why not visit Kerrie and Beng for your next corporate meeting?
As Beng says, Passion and Integrity is the key to our business.
123 Pitt St, Angel Place Office Tower, Sydney CBD NSW 2000 |(02) 9221 3377
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 7am – 4pm | Sat-Sun CLOSED