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Not content with being the co-owner of Sydney bars The Lobo Plantation, Kittyhawk, and Big Poppa’s, award-winning operator Jared Merlino has recently opened his first solo project, Caffe Bartolo.

Opened on the site at which Bill’s operated for more than two decades (they’ve now moved down the street a door or two), Caffe Bartolo is an all-day dining and drinking concept named for Merlino’s great grandfather Bartolo.

Caffe Bartolo opens from 7am, oriented towards the passing coffee trade, and carries on until midnight, every day of the week.

Merlino has installed Grazia Di Franco (ex-The Lobo Plantation and PS40) as the bar manager, and it’s Di Franco who has devised the cocktail list: set up around the idea of how Bartolo would have seen Australia when he arrived here from Sicily in 1910, she’s put together some of the most-creative and delicious drinks going around.

Food-wise, it’s an Italian-inflected menu that has been designed by chef Teofilo Nobrega, whom Merlino brought on board from Fratelli Paradiso.

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Keep an eye out for the February issue of Australian Bartender, in which we delve a little deeper into Di Franco’s list; in the meantime, take a look inside the venue above.

Caffe Bartolo is open seven days a week from 7am until midnight, at 353-355 Crown Street, Surry Hills and on Facebook here.

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