Bondi Hardware isn’t the first of its name to occupy 39 Hall Street in Bondi. Previously a hardware store, owners, Ben Carroll and Hamish Watts, decided to keep the former business’ name when they opened this restaurant in 2011, successfully preserving a slice of the local history.
What once was a place for tradesman and DIY enthusiasts has been transformed into a restaurant and bar that celebrates the unique ‘share food’ philosophy, dishing up a range of small and sharing options as well as a comprehensive drinks list, all just metres from one of Australia’s most famous stretches of sand.
Ben and Hamish have more than 30 years combined experience in hospitality and formed Applejack, the group behind this and three other wonderful venues across Sydney: The Botanist Kirribilli, SoCal in Neutral Bay and The Butler Potts Point.
Bondi Hardware is an all-day affair, with the team serving up brunch, boozy lunches and dinners seven days a week. The day-to-day operations happen under the watchful eye of General Manager, Michael Paszek, while the kitchen operates under Head Chef, Elliot Anders. Elliot trained at Bistro Moncur under James Privett, before working with Matt Kemp at Balzac, and completing a stint at Fratelli Fresh. Previous to joining the team at Bondi Hardware, he owned and operated cafes and his own catering business.
His years of experience working with a variety of cuisines is reflected in the global options of the tapas-style menu. His famous sliders include fillings of spiced chicken with bacon jam, or sriracha slaw and pork belly with chilli-jam slaw. Pizza toppings aren’t the usual either with prawn, kale, chilli and garlic sitting above pesto chicken, artichoke and capsicum on the menu.
Bar snacks are also left of centre, including a baked artichoke dip served with charred sourdough, or quinoa and rosemary polenta bites with a romesco sauce. Big groups with rumbling stomachs should beeline to the share plates, with a chance to feast on crisp calamari with lemon aioli; pan-fried haloumi with spelt, cucumber and sumac; or spiced tuna poke with avocado and coconut quinoa.
Brunch isn’t an afterthought either. Start the morning right with brioche French toast with banana, maple syrup and mascarpone; or a chorizo and sweet potato hash with red capsicum and poached eggs. Wash your dish down with a Bloody Mary, complete with chilli infused vodka, or coffee courtesy of Bondi locals, Will & Co.
Come twelve, the bar list extends beyond tomato juice-based cocktails, perfectly complementing the lunch and dinner offerings. The cocktail list features concoctions that appeal to sweet, bitter, salty or sour palates.
The interiors throw back to the 30-year history as a hardware store – the walls are exposed brick, the ceilings rustic timber and an impressive skylight provides natural light. Furnishings that look suspiciously like former workbenches fill the floor, the lighting is kept atmospherically low and rustic tools join potted plants in lining the walls.