Mr Cooper's Restaurant and Wine Bar

A vibrant new small bar for Paddington

In the 1820s, former convict and gin distiller Mr Robert Cooper built the oldest house in Sydney’s Paddington, the grandly proportioned Juniper Hall in Oxford St.

Today, just a short amble up the road, his name has been immortalised in the character-filled Mr Cooper’s Restaurant and Wine Bar. Owners Clinton and Scarlett Mervis opened the bar and restaurant in April with a goal of meshing the best of what pubs and restaurants offer in a small and friendly bar.

“We’re inspired in part by the small bar scene that’s popular in Melbourne,” said Clinton, who has an extensive background in pub management. “We’re offering a flexible menu and large list of cocktails and wines. This is a place that suits couples and groups of friends who can gather and share plates of food, or you can order a la carte, or just have cheese and wine if you like.”

Mr Cooper’s is cosy and intimate, with stripped back brick walls and plenty of interesting features that give it an established feel.

Clinton and Scarlett had been thinking of opening a business when the former Avido Restaurant and Wine Garden site in Paddington became available.

“We made the decision to take it on very quickly and only had a three week window to get ready to open,” said Clinton. “We came across Caféideas when searching for furniture and equipment on the web.”

Clinton and Scarlett visited Caféideas’ showroom in Chippendale and were impressed with what they saw.

“We knew in our minds what we wanted and it was great to be able to see everything in one place before buying,” said Scarlett. “It was also an advantage that Caféideas is located close to the city so we did not have to travel far.”

Clinton and Scarlett were happy to use the services of Silver Chef to lease their purchases.

“Caféideas co-ordinated with Silver Chef and we had our furniture and equipment delivered to us within a week of approving the quote, which worked well given our tight timeframe,” said Clinton. “We were also pleased to receive an even bigger discount than the advertised price because of the size of our order.”

Clinton and Scarlett purchased a fryer, blender, stand mixer, convection oven, coolroom, jet spray, table bases, table tops and chairs from Caféideas.

“We dealt with Sean and Caroline from Caféideas and both went out of their way to help us,” said Scarlett. “They were able to get our goods delivered to us sooner than we had expected which was a nice surprise.”

Mr Cooper’s has a large, sunny outdoor terrace out back and Scarlett and Clinton also hope to do up some of the rooms upstairs for private function use in the future.

“Our customers really like what we’ve done with the place and we love running it,” said Clinton. “We’ve wanted to do something like this for a long time and it’s wonderful to finally be underway.” Mr Cooper’s Restaurant and Wine Bar serves Modern Australian food with Asian and Mediterranean influences. It is open 5pm to 11pm Tuesday and Wednesday, 11am to 11pm on Thursday, 11am to midnight on Friday, 10am to midnight on Saturday and 10am to 10pm on Sunday. Located at 438 Oxford St Paddington, bookings can be made by phoning (02) 8084 5465.