Mary's CBD

Author: Maya Kerthyasa
Photography: Yianni Aspradakis

Chanel. Gucci. Prada. Mary's? The latest d├ębut on Sydney's designer-laden Castlereagh Street has a boutique offering, but it's a very different kind of couture. It's been some months in the making, but the talented crew from the Newtown bar and burger favourite are set to open the doors on their first standalone takeaway branch this week.

Though there are decorative touches in common - hello, Jack Daniels chandeliers - the uptown location is quite a contrast to the original outpost's dark, heavily graffitied laneway digs. Most notably, unlike Newtown, the CBD shopfront serves no whisky, no gamay, no Young Henry's - in fact, no booze at all. There's no Slayer art on the walls yet, no tags in the toilets (there are no toilets) and, for that matter, no seats. Instead it's just a simple white-and-red-tiled space offering burgers, shakes and fries for the fun-loving city crowd. And unlike the Mary Street headquarters, it'll be open for breakfast (if you can call 10am breakfast), lunch and dinner daily.

"We didn't want to just carbon-copy Newtown," says co-owner Jake Smyth. "We wanted to do something that we hadn't done before, but we also knew that we'd be idiots not to do something with the burger."

The burger in question has made waves across the city with its juicy patty, molten cheese and cloud-soft buns. Smyth says the secrets of its success are just hard yakka and quality ingredients. "We take a lot of care with everything," he says.

"We work really hard with Vic's Meats and all of our veg suppliers to get the best produce. We've just signed on with O'Connor, which is a pasture-fed beef down in the Gippsland region of Victoria, so we're working solely with them now."

The idea behind the new shop, Smyth says, is to lighten the load on Newtown and allow the burger-faithful to get a taste of Mary's star offering without having to commit to the full-blown, spirit-soaked Mary's bar experience. "It's literally set up to have you in and out, then you go about your day," says Smyth. "Newtown's not going anywhere. If you need a beer with your burger it's there. This is for a different person."

The two-storey space features a kitchen and takeaway counter downstairs, plus a production space upstairs where patty preparation for both the CBD and Newtown outposts is already in action.

You'll find all of your Newtown favourites - the Mary's burger, the cheeseburger, the vego-friendly mushroom number - on the menu, along with a fried-chicken burger, some very thick shakes (we're talking "ones you're going to struggle getting up through a straw") jazzed-up with house-made syrups, and a breakfast roll to end all breakfast rolls replete with pork sausage, bacon, hash brown, maple syrup and HP sauce.

And, in true Mary's style, you can count on a soundtrack louder than anything else you'll hear in the city before dark.

"I think we might be the only takeaway store in the CBD playing Metallica's black album at 10 in the morning," says Smyth.

Mary's CBD opens Friday 28 November, and will be operating from 10am-10pm daily at 154 Castlereagh St, Sydney.

Looking for more Sydney dining options? Check out our list of the best restaurants in Sydney.


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