First Look: Billy T’s at Dirty Janes where a good brew and nostalgia meet

Sophia Brady 1 October 2020 29
Caleb Evansat the coffee machine

Owner Caleb Evans at the helm of the coffee machine at Billy T’s inside Dirty Janes. Photo: Supplied.

As I am driving through Fyshwick with the GPS set to Billy T’s at Dirty Janes, I start to get worried about the accuracy of the navigation as it instructs me to head into the Domayne car park and keep driving! But lo and behold, with a left turn at the end of the driveway, there is a whole other sprawling precinct.

An institution in Bowral, Dirty Janes is the largest vintage market in the area. It has become renowned as one of the most popular shopping destinations in the Southern Highlands for locals and tourists alike since opening its doors in 2009. The large space is occupied by over 70 vendors, selling every form of treasure including furniture, garden wares, ornaments, paintings, collectibles, jewellery, vintage clothing and decorator items.


The resident goats welcome shoppers at the entrance. Photo: Supplied.

In March, at the height of COVID-19, Dirty Janes swung open the beautiful antique wooden doors to its Canberra outpost.

Even larger than Bowral, the Canberra location boasts not only the main warehouse which is over 2000 square metres and houses over 90 independent unique stalls, but it also has a huge outdoor space. Currently, there is a blacksmith in one of the outdoor buildings and another charming cottage which is being used for events. There are plans to develop the area further with a sustainable garden, orchards, more animals to keep the two resident goats company, and plenty of running-around space for children.

Dirty Janes

Dirty Janes is a goldmine of delight, inspiration, and sentimentality. Photo: Supplied.

Having never visited the Bowral location, I did not know what to expect for my first visit to Dirty Janes Canberra and what I found was a goldmine of delight, inspiration and sentimentality. As I reach the entrance right on opening time at 10:00 am, there’s already a queue of people waiting to be let in and as the doors open most of them make a beeline for Billy T’s.

Playing on the name of a quintessential Aussie brew made famous in Waltzing Matilda, Billy T’s is the onsite café at Dirty Janes providing sustenance for shoppers and stallholders alike. Located at the entrance, it is split over two rooms. On the right is the bustling service counter with window bar seating which is perfect for a quick cup of coffee while you look out onto the property. On the left, there is another room set up with tables and chairs for a proper sit-down meal and catch up to discuss and share all the finds you uncovered at Dirty Janes.

Billy T’s owner Caleb Evans had a vision for his new venture that centred around old-fashioned service, nostalgic food and local produce. Operating out of a small kitchen he concentrates on a wholesome familiar menu of feel-good toasties, waffles, and a stellar range of house-made baked goods.

Scone with jam and cream

The irresistible favourite is proving to be the humble scone with jam and cream. Photo: Supplied.

The irresistible favourite is proving to be the humble scone with jam and cream. Caleb chose to pair his moist fluffy creations with the small-batch bespoke range of Drunken Sailor jams. He’s going through over four litres of jam a week.

Tea Garden Co

The tea is sourced from their next-door neighbour, local supplier Tea Garden Co, who blend their range onsite at Dirty Janes. Photo: Supplied.

Sitting side-by-side with the house-made creations in the full display cabinet is a range of Sonoma and Three Mills baked goods of croissants, tarts, and sausage rolls ready to feed hungry shoppers. Given the name of the eatery is based on a famous good brew, along with stellar coffee, there is a list of 16 teas on the menu. All tea is sourced from their next-door neighbour, local supplier Tea Garden Co, which blends their range onsite at Dirty Janes.

Sonoma and Three Mills

Sitting side by side with the house-made creations in the full display cabinet is a range of Sonoma and Three Mills. Photo: Supplied.

Billy T’s is located inside Dirty Janes at 80B Collie St, Fyshwick. It’s open seven days a week from 10:00 am.

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29 Responses to First Look: Billy T’s at Dirty Janes where a good brew and nostalgia meet
Zalan Filip Zalan Filip 9:51 pm 29 Sep 20

Sarah Fox the one Soph was going on about... reminds me a bit of the huge market thing in Castlemaine.

Jacinta Elliott Jacinta Elliott 7:14 pm 29 Sep 20

Alana Lockley, Odete Alves-Rowley, Cathey Stanberg, Angela Doyle, Amanda Brimmer .... one day!!!

Julie Wilson Julie Wilson 7:08 pm 29 Sep 20

Harriet Farlow

A place for us to visit !!???

Have been there. Love it.

Christine Kearnes Christine Kearnes 3:33 pm 29 Sep 20

Bec Gardner Margaret Kearnes

They do have a cafe!

Tracey Murray Tracey Murray 3:21 pm 29 Sep 20

Loooooove Dirty Janes Canberra! I’m visiting the original DJ’s in Bowral in a few weeks. Can’t wait 😊

Judi Bard Judi Bard 1:09 pm 29 Sep 20

They have the best lemon 🍋 slice 😋.

Natalie Mason Natalie Mason 12:46 pm 29 Sep 20

Alex Stinziani Saturday! They open at 10

Ann Marie Weber Ann Marie Weber 9:19 am 29 Sep 20

Jane Weber - we should go this weekend!

Michael Koorey Michael Koorey 7:22 am 29 Sep 20

... Rachael Koorey somewhere new to take the kidlet as traditional markets still closed.

Babita Busic Babita Busic 6:32 am 29 Sep 20

Kirsty Thomson weekend stroll?

Jessie Kendall Jessie Kendall 6:10 am 29 Sep 20

Editha Badenhorst wanna go to dirty janes sometime soon?

Erika Eriksson Erika Eriksson 5:34 am 29 Sep 20

Great coffee

Ben Cridland Ben Cridland 9:20 pm 28 Sep 20

The mushroom and pesto toastie is awesome👌👌👌

Clare Halloran Clare Halloran 8:54 pm 28 Sep 20

Lucy Xi Luo can we go here?

Claire Cat Claire Cat 8:35 pm 28 Sep 20

That place is a smoking death to my credit card! Sooooooo many beauties!

    Averill Corcoran Averill Corcoran 8:47 pm 28 Sep 20

    Claire Arcorg isn’t it a great store ... have you been to the Bowral one 😳

    Claire Cat Claire Cat 8:56 pm 28 Sep 20

    Averill Corcoran I have once! I may still be paying that visit off....

    Averill Corcoran Averill Corcoran 8:57 pm 28 Sep 20

    Claire Arcorg 😆 high five 🙌🏻 me too ! Ah sure why not x

    Claire Cat Claire Cat 8:59 pm 28 Sep 20

    Averill Corcoran I get pure joy from each piece every time I look at it so 100% worth it xx

    Averill Corcoran Averill Corcoran 9:00 pm 28 Sep 20

    Claire Arcorg completely agree 🌟 ...

Hayley Baker Hayley Baker 8:34 pm 28 Sep 20

Alex Timms Thursday?

Katherine Morris Katherine Morris 8:30 pm 28 Sep 20

Susan and Janet....

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