Shortly after opening in 2014 Rising Sun Workshop became legendary among locals for their steaming bowls of ramen. Within weeks the café was churning out bowls and bowls of it out of their pop-up space on Lennox Street Newtown. However, I discovered their well-known ramen is only one part of a larger story.
In 2012, partners Heleana Genaus and Adrian Sheather, fed up with no space to work on their bikes, dreamed up an idea to create a communal space where people could work on their bikes, sharing tools, knowledge and a meal. To turn their idea into a workshop and café, Heleana and Adrian launched a crowd funding campaign a year later (one of the first businesses of its type to do so in Australia).
At first opening in the temporary Lennox Street location, today they’ve made a home off King Street in a shop that had been a hardware store for 100 years. With the permanent location they’ve been able to build their food offering and membership base that’s grown to almost 300 people.
The café and kitchen share space with the workshop so it all blends. The idea being when people finish working on their bikes they can share a meal and have a drink with others who’ve been working on their bikes. Simultaneously, diners can enjoy their expanded, seasonal menu without needing to be riders or wrenchers.
On weeknights, this theme continues with open wrench night – a night open to everyone (member or not, with or without a bike, or even mechanical skill) to pick up a wrench and work on a bike. Helping them is workshop manager (and mechanic) Brad Coles who teaches people how do all things mechanical.
Heleana tells me open wrench night was away to bring people in to the workshop to satisfy their curiosity and learn how to approach a shared space and to repair bikes.
Visit Rising Sun Workshop at 1c Whateley Street Newtown 8am to 4pm (breakfast and lunch) seven days, 4pm to 6pm (drinks and snacks) and 6pm to 10pm (dinner) Wednesday to Saturday. Workshop open 10am – 8pm Wed – Sat, 10am – 3pm Sunday