The craft beer barons behind Darlinghurst bar Bitter Phew have migrated to Leichhardt. The goal is to revive the cultural heart of Sydney’s Little Italy precinct with CREEK AND CELLA, a providore-inspired bar and fine food larder on Norton Street.

Founder Aaron Edwards, of Bitter Phew and also Doris & Beryl’s in Newtown, says pockets of the Inner West have been overlooked as the new wave of small bars and bistro-style dining sweeps Sydney. “Leichhardt really hit its stride during the Sydney Olympics, it was a nightlife destination. Sadly, it’s lost its identity over the years  as a result of rapidly changing demographics. As a local, it was clear there was community demand for a new bar and dining experiences. We’re responding with a venue that embraces Leichhardt's history, with emphasis on fine local produce and delicious drinks.”

The name, Creek and Cella, was inspired by the geographical layout of Leichhardt, a suburb veined with hidden waterways. Cella, the Italian word for cool rooms used to store produce, is a nod to the area’s rich cultural heritage.

Just as they have done at their other venues, Edwards’ team will showcase a diverse range of some of the world’s best craft beers at Creek and Cella, with an expanded offer also championing wine and smallgoods. “Over the past few years, it became apparent that the brewers and suppliers we were working with were diversifying and coming to us with different products of the same outstanding quality, such as charcuterie, honey and olive oil.­ We wanted a platform to showcase these foods and offer them to complement the alcohol we champion... that’s how it started. ­Now, having settled in Leichhardt, we’re bringing the hospitality and the produce that the locals have been crying out for, together in one venue.”

C&C is nestled in one of the few remaining commercial federation bungalows at the heart of Norton Street. The renovated interior is dressed in recycled timber and features two cold-cabinets, custom built to showcase the award­-winning cheeses and meats on offer. The wine list is a generous selection of organic and naturals, without abandoning the classics. Italian whisky, amongst classic aperitifs and cocktails, will round out the drinks. MECCA coffee will be served out the front window. C&C will have full lunch and dinner service in the coming months. In the meantime, sliced meats, cheese and antipasti will be on offer.