The Illawarra: Oz’s newest cosmopolitan destination

Espresso Martini at Jose Jones. Picture: Desiree Savage
Espresso Martini at Jose Jones. Picture: Desiree Savage

Oh what a cosmopolitan area the Illawarra has become!

Espresso Martini at Jose Jones. Picture: Desiree Savage

Espresso Martini at Jose Jones. Picture: Desiree Savage

The opening of the Spiegeltent in Wollongong Arts Precinct on Friday is testament to this, bringing some of Australia’s top entertainers to town. 

Merrigong Theatre Company wouldn’t have pushed for the temporary venue if there wasn’t a need.

No longer are Friday and Saturday nights only suited to 19-year-olds downing shots at The Glasshouse or getting kicked out of the Oxford Tavern.

Fast spreading through the region are trendy bars, hipster coffee joints, world music, live music for every age, hatted restaurants, cabaret, theatre, plus an array of children’s entertainment and activities at your fingertips.

The people in our community have evolved to become an eclectic, cultured bunch.

Labourers, tech-heads, healthcare workers and office workers have a taste for a good espresso (or espresso martini). 

They know good music when they hear it, whether it’s reliving your youth with the Violent Femmes at Waves (great to see I was possibly one of the youngest at the March 25 gig) or rocking out to local U2 cover band Achtung Baby.

As a 30-something who’s lived in four of Australia’s capital cities in her lifetime (and a couple of regional areas too), I honestly believe we have got a lot going for us.

I’m really liking Jose Jones in Thirroul of late – healthy, delicious food and cool cocktails.

I’m tipping it’ll do better than the defunct Cave nightclub and bar near the train station. (I probably went to that venue less than a handful of times after a birthday or Christmas party knowing it was a place I probably shouldn’t be)

Jose, however, is kid-friendly or cool for double dates for dinner.

So tell me, what’s your latest discovery in this beautiful place we live? Email me and I’ll check it out: desiree.savage@fairfaxmedia.com.au 

This story The Illawarra: Oz’s newest cosmopolitan destination first appeared on Illawarra Mercury.