Cafe Freda's Taylor Square

Rebecca Varidel
16th Dec 2020

2020 was a year of disappointments and for the loyal patrons the recent closure of Freda's small bar and performance space in November after 9 years of operation was gutting. Yet before the end of the year there will be a renewal of all that is fabulous in Sydney in music, arts and cultural programming will live on.

Cafe Freda's, a new eatery, neighbourhood bar and creative gathering space will open in Sydney on New Years Eve

"Whilst we were sad to have to close our Chippendale space, Freda's more than anything was about creating a bar for like minded, creative and free spirited people, and Cafe Freda's allows us to continue to do this, albeit in a slightly different format. We may not operate a late night dance bar and venue for the time being however culture, music, and congregation is still central to our purpose and we are excited to be pairing these ideas with some delicious food and wine on one of the world's great night-life streets" Freda's owner, David Abram announced.

Cafe Freda's has curated an energised cultural and culinary offering set to reinvigorate its iconic Taylor Square location for Sydney.  

Head Chef, Xinyi Lim joins Abram and Uriarte to realise Cafe Freda's. Xinyi returned to Sydney earlier this year after a five year stint in New York working at much-loved institutions Marlow & Sons, Diner and Achilles Heel, amongst other places. Xinyi has a creative practice, Megafauna, where she uses food and cooking as an artistic tool for social justice. One of her recent projects was a meal service called Family Meal; a 4-5 piece set menu inspired by a different cuisine or culture every week that generated donations for charity.

The Cafe Freda's menu will embrace Xinyi’s breadth of experience and uniquely diverse perspective on food and cooking, underpinned by an emphasis on sourcing locally and sustainably. Her approach to cooking is driven by the seasons and influenced by stories of culture and heritage, both her own - Chinese-Malaysian - and others. The team at Cafe Freda's will present a produce-driven menu that is playful and diverse, changing frequently to reflect shifts in season and mood.

"Since returning to Sydney, I've been developing relationships with like-minded producers, suppliers and farmers, and am so excited to be able to support their work through Cafe Freda's. I want to create a small but dynamic menu that is not too fussy nor serious, and through which my team and I can continue to experiment and learn" Xinyi Lim said.

The wine list has been prepared by Darcy Creenaune Ellis who cut his teeth working for one of Sydney's largest wine importer's before taking up sommelier roles at the acclaimed Berowa Waters Inn and Restaurant Leo. Darcy's list for Cafe Freda's will bridge a gap between more minimal intervention styles and classic variety wines, sourced from both small batch local and international producers.

Cafe Freda’s intends to continue in this spirit of the original namesake venue (which was actually if memory serves me correctly named after Dave Abram's mum) showcasing some of the best local and international DJs, as well as live performances, readings and exhibitions in a reimagined space.

Cafe Freda's has been designed in collaboration with Philip Abram Architects and built by International Worldwide. The design approach for the fit out uses recycled and repurposed elements from the former Freda's bar to create a warm, welcoming space. The space includes a mix of playful colour tones, considered details and handcrafted custom features designed by Carla Uriarte.

Café Freda's

GF 191-195 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst
(Corner Oxford and Flinders Street)

Opening hours from January 1, 2021:
Wed-Thu 4pm - midnight
Fri-Sun 11am - midnight

For bookings enquiries please contact

Image (Left to right) Head Chef, Xinyi Lim, Creative & Marketing Director, Carla Uriarte and Owner David Abram in their new bar and eatery Cafe Freda's in Sydney. Image supplied by Cafe Freda's.