Just 15 minutes from the CBD and in a centrally located destination for visitors from Mosman, North Sydney, the Upper North Shore and the Northern Beaches, Willoughby’s High Street is home to a retail precinct featuring great food, fashion, homewares and services in a leafy, retro industrial inspired space.
Since opening in 2011, The Iceworks Willoughby has quickly become a budding social and foodie hub, with a range of both high-end and casual dining establishments, open both day and evening. All visitors (both regular and first time) will be greeted as friends and treated to impressive personalised service. It’s the kind of place where carefully curated French homewares and accessories sit comfortably alongside independent Australian fashion and homewares labels and a unique range of children’s clothing. Where there’s a range of fresh and delicious food offerings, from an urban café to an elegant Italian trattoria. Where the hair salon follows sustainable practices as part of Sustainable Salons Australia and the senior stylists offer the latest hair, make-up and treatments using natural and environmentally friendly products. And where the long-established local community vet has a focus on preventative health care.
Open seven days, The Iceworks Willoughby has a real community focus where locals and visitors find a relaxed and friendly place to meet, shop and dine. Let’s take a look at the nine vibrant and varied retailers that form the heart of The Iceworks Willoughby.
FASHION, BEAUTY AND HOMEWARES
Betty + Lola
Betty and Lola is a lifestyle store and is one of our fave local ‘go to’ spots when we have a gift to buy and let’s be honest … we usually leave with something for ourselves too. They truly have something for every age and every occasion from women’s fashion, homewares and wellness brands as well as their eponymous range of kids’ clothes from which the brand evolved. Supporting independent labels means Betty and Lola has lovingly curated a collection featuring mainly Australian brands and designers that share a similar ethos of unique, stylish and ethically produced pieces. You’ll find labels like Binny, The Dreamer, Le Stripe, Alessandra, Zoe Kratzmann, Fairley, DOF, Inartisan, Saarde alongside gorgeous handmade candles and lotions and quirky hand painted vases. Betty and Lola is full of pieces you won’t see elsewhere, parking is easy and gift wrapping is included … so you can pop in and out without having to schlep to the mall and there’s fab coffee and food right next door.
(02) 9967 5502
Côté Nord French Design Store
At Côté Nord you will find Made in France collections from high quality brands and independent designers of homewares and fashion accessories imported from Paris and regional France. Returning from a trip to France in 2010 with their first pieces, the store’s core collection still represents these original brands plus a more diverse and eclectic mix that has been added over time. It’s clear that a lot of thought has gone into the brands that are stocked at Côté Nord. Homewares include textile art cushions and tapestries of international artists, French cotton jacquard cushions woven in Flanders, linen for the table & kitchen in classic & contemporary designs, seasonal throws in natural fibres and more. French fashion accessories include nacre (mother-of-pearl) jewellery from a Normandy atelier, seasonal collections of scarves designed by artists using French fabrics, and raffia-woven bags and hats by a Paris-based family company. Côté Nord’s commitment to contributing to the rich cultural heritage of the fine arts of France is evidenced by them working with companies that have a multi-generation history in France. Stocked brands tend to use sustainably sourced materials, ethical manufacture and they also like to support independent designers (even some Australian ones, whose work often leaves the store to travel overseas). If you’re looking for a gift or something special for yourself, the personalised service at Côté Nord is exceptional.
0417 699 011
There’s a lovely ambiance at Chameleon Hair, which flows both inside the salon and outside to their inviting outdoor seating nook. Owner, Jane Ordon, a Willoughby local, and her team set out every day to deliver exceptional service. They offer honest, personal advice and work with you to create that one-on-one experience to ensure you leave feeling completely renewed. Every stylist in the team has many years of experience and ensure they are up to date on the latest colouring and cutting techniques and styles. Jane, Danielle, Ross and Ella ensure that your experience is driven by the salon’s ethos of a friendly, relaxed atmosphere where your needs are first and foremost. Ella also specialises in make-up which means you can get ready for your next event in one stop. Chameleon Hair is a 95% sustainable salon, and their commitment to using both natural and environmentally friendly products makes them a standout from other local salons.
(02) 9967 8566
Willoughby Veterinary Hospital
Established by Dr Peter MacKenzie-Wood in 1997, the Willoughby Veterinary Hospital has become part of the fabric of the local community. With clients bringing their beloved pets from not just the Willoughby area, but suburbs across the Lower and Upper North Shore and Northern Beaches, it’s clear that finding the right team to care for their furry or feathered friends is forefront in their minds. With a reputation for focusing on preventative care, the team are also aware that sometimes, a little bit of TLC can make all the difference in treatment. The pursuit of the latest veterinary knowledge is a key part of this veterinary practice, and continuous education for every staff member is both encouraged and facilitated. For us, this means our pets benefit from the very latest techniques being used in the industry. The hospital is also very well equipped; including digital radiography, digital dental radiography, ultrasound and in-house laboratory equipment. These assist in reaching a diagnosis rapidly to ensure the best outcome for your pet.
(02) 9958 8775
CAFES AND DINING
Since opening with a bang in 2012 and catering to Willoughby locals’ passion for caffeine, great food and a stylish setting, Dose Espresso has become one of the heroes of the local café scene. Set in a sunny courtyard and serving up coffee by local Willoughby roasters, Gabriel Coffee, you’ll be greeted by the friendly team as you find your seat right in the centre of The Iceworks complex. If it’s just a coffee you’re after, there’s the house blend plus a regular rotating specialty blend to try. And if you are there for a meal as well, there are breakfast and lunch specials to satisfy any appetite. Particularly well known for their smashed avo on sourdough toast, this version comes with the very welcome addition of grilled haloumi, feta and lemon, cherry tomatoes and homemade basil pesto. Or perhaps you’d prefer the Green Bowl, with broccolini, edamame, avocado, zucchini and green hummus with basil pesto and a poached egg. And sweet tooths need not despair, there’s a range of baked treats including the much-loved cinnamon scrolls which sell out daily.
(02) 9967 2552
With its concertina doors that open out to the courtyard beyond, and its hip Japanese design including photos of Tokyo fashionistas, Gochiso makes a statement with its’ looks before you even proceed to the menu. However, it’s the food that leaves the overall impression – it really is outstanding Japanese cuisine in a lovely local setting. Chef Sang and his team pride themselves on a menu that mixes both authentic Japanese fare to modern takes on the traditional favourites. At lunch time, bento boxes are a staple, while at dinner, the a la carte menu has sushi and sashimi, a range of fantastic small dishes (the chicken pancakes – a twist on peking duck pancakes – are a highlight) and main dishes including wagyu beef, tempura, chicken teriyaki and more – and all available to take away. Kids are also well looked after with a range of specially designed sushi, bento and main dishes for younger palates. All ingredients used at Gochiso are strictly selected by its qualified chefs for the best taste. So, if you’re looking for a modern Japanese restaurant with a seasonally changing menu, Gochiso is one to add to your list!
(02) 9958 3351
Tarboosh Lebanese Kitchen
When the signs went up announcing Tarboosh Lebanese Restaurant was The Icework’s newest tenant (after recent renovations in the space), locals rejoiced. Previously housed in another Willoughby location, its closure had left locals longing for their contemporary twist on authentic Middle Eastern flavours. Now that they’re back in Willoughby (with another location in Crows Nest) they are reaching previous loyal customers as well as winning over a whole new audience of fans. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and BYO as well as licensed, Tarboosh is proving popular for large gatherings who partake in the numerous banquet options – think end-of-season sports dinners, school class get togethers, Christmas parties and more. The menu includes their famous house dips, mezze including falafel, grilled haloumi, garlic prawns and kafta meat balls, and mains comprised of mixed grilled meats, vegetarian options, seafood dishes and more. Kids are also well catered for with their own menu and don’t forget their extensive take away/home delivery menu. With a sense of fun and great Lebanese food, it’s hard not to enjoy the atmosphere at Tarboosh.
(02) 8384 3238
The Italian Bar Pizza
Regular visitors to The Italian Bar Pizza know that it fills up, and fast! It’s quite common to see guests spilling out to its’ neighbouring retailers while waiting for a table, or to pick up their takeaway pizzas. As they proudly state, they “do things a little differently compared to your average pizzeria”. The team are passionate about creating the best woodfired pizza – both the best tasting and the best for customer’s health. To that end, they have a unique process for raising their pizza dough. It’s fermented for three days with a starter like sourdough called Criscito Madre that has an enzymatic breakdown of gluten and starch, therefore resulting in a lighter, easy to digest pizza. It’s therefore not surprising that vegans and gluten free patrons are welcome at The Italian…we particularly love the ‘Notzarella’ cheese available for vegan pizzas! While pizza is the hero dish on the menu, other Italian fare gets a nod as well, including gnocchi – the team bakes, peels and hand rolls sixty kilos of gnocchi a week – and a range of pasta dishes to choose from. Starters include mushroom arancini and calamari fritters, plus classic bruschetta and meatballs in sugo. And for dessert, it’s either Nutella pizza or gelato; with kids lining up at the gelato window a regular sight.
(02) 9967 5468
Dining options at The Iceworks’ also extend to fine dining with Via Alta, a neighbourhood Italian trattoria. This local gem offers true Italian flavours and professional service – often with not just a smile but with two kisses on the cheek to welcome you! The Via Alta team has designed a menu that features classic, well executed, clean, and simple Italian flavours, with a focus on the Northern Italian regional cuisine. Handpicked suppliers and extensive research ensure the best produce that Australia and Italy has to offer. Think feast style dining, Italian style with most dishes designed to share. The menu which features seasonal produce and daily specials, is approachable and affordable, plus it’s BYO friendly. It is clear that Via Alta’s young and talented team has a passion for food and hospitality – whether it’s in their thoughtful menu suggestions (they love it if you leave the ordering up to them), or their wide knowledge of Italian wines. Whether you’re a group, a couple or dining solo, the team at Via Alta will make you feel welcome and impress you with their fabulous food and wine offerings. They would also love to host your next corporate event or private function (think christenings, anniversaries or significant birthdays!).