South King Street: the rough end of Newtown, Sydney

Explore the rough end of Newtown, Sydney. Better known as the far end of South King Street. An area that’s taken the well-trodden path to gentrification but isn’t playing by the rules. Instead taking a detour to have some fun along the way.

Businesses established decades ago sit shoulder-to-shoulder with a new, hipstercool, cohort. The latter providing first-world goods and services that would be incomprehensible to our Newtown forefathers (and foremothers).

This 500m stretch of King Street, between St Peters Station and Alice Street, houses an extraordinarily eclectic mix of shops and services… Tango classes… A Double Apple flavour refill for your e-cigarette..  art class that encourage BYO wine…  a new sari…  Teambuilding activities.  It’s all here.

Diana Reyes Flamenco:

We’ve all felt the urge to dance Flamenco right? For me, it usually comes in corporate meetings. All that foot-stamping is good for the soul (and stress relief).

It’s an unlikely find, at the rough end of Newtown, but at Diana Reyes’ Flamenco Studio, you’ll be taught Flamenco by a professional with extraordinary credentials and live music to boot.

I only noticed this place when I heard loud, rhythmic foot-stamping on a timber floor. Behold, I looked up to see the Flamenco Studio sign above my head.

Flamenco Studio
Flamenco Studio

V Industries:

So it turns out rolling up dried leaves, putting them into your mouth, then setting fire to them is bad for your health. Not to be denied the experience, humans invented e-cigarettes as a safer alternative. 

V Industries, at 642 King Street, cater for this new market.

All vaping accoutrement is here, including Double Apple, Forest Mist and Laughing Gas flavour refills. Adjust your e-cigarette voltage to calibrate the strength of your hit. All are supplied with 0% Nicotine but you can add that yourself if you’re living life on the edge.

V Industries
V Industries

The Cypher Room:

The spirit of Agatha Christie lives and breathes at 640 King Street, between the vacant ex-brothel and V Industries.  Team building is the business of The Cypher Room.

Groups of 2-8 work together to solve themed puzzles to free themselves from the ‘Escape Room’. In doing so, authentic connections are forged between the team members. Assuming there are no Agatha Christie style murders…

The energy and brains behind The Cypher Room are Newtown locals, Marise and David. They seem to be onto something. The reviews are excellent!

The Cipher Room
The Cipher Room

Mister Hipster Barbershop: Facebook Page

Unashamedly Hipster focused, Mister Hipster Barbershop at Shop 1/ 612-622 King Street, have created a stunning workspace to ply their trade. With a leather Chesterfield sofa,  cowhide rug and chandelier – this gaff has the look of a high-end London barber mixed with the reception of a boutique hotel in Cannes.

Mister Hipster  ‘… are offering classic and contemporary men’s haircuts, beard designs and the traditional hot towel face shave for the everyday Sydney gentleman.’

Enjoy guys. As a longtime baldie, I’ll be watching enviously (creepily) through the window.

Mister Hipster
Mister Hipster

Fiji Market

I’ll wager you’ve never seen a shop quite like Fiji Market before. I hadn’t. Without a website or Facebook page, I assume this decades-old business survives, as it’s always done, on word-of-mouth.  The name is misleading. Fiji products are sold but alongside Sri Lankan, Indian and Latin American goodies.  Don’t be put off by the unfussy presentation. The USP here is variety. There are herbs, dry and fresh, huge cans of Tomatillo and Mole, Indian Saris and a whole load of other stuff.

Come to Fiji Market to find elusive exotic ingredients missing from your local supermarket. Better still, to find new, inspiring ingredients to expand your cooking repertoire.

Fiji Market
Fiji Market


Are you a South King Street local? What are your favourite spots at the rough end of Newtown?

Or are you a visitor? Yes, see the hubbub of central Newton but edge out a little further to the fringes too. You won’t be disappointed.


Note: this is a personal blog. I have no links to any business mentioned.


  1. Meeee!! Ma hood, thanks for a great write up. Quality Sydney Lashes is another weird and wonderful business in this part of town.

    1. Oh that’s my salon! Glad you like it and glad to be part of such an eclectic mix of quirky businesses. It’s such a fabulous community feel down this end. We love it here 💕👩🏻‍🎤
      Great blog write up Pete. ✌️
      x Elise – aka Quality Lashes pink haired salon owner

      1. Thanks Elise! It’s a lovely, unexpected, impact of the blog that lovers of this area are connecting online 👍

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