Op till you pop in Fyshwick

Michelle Rowe 28 September 2020 34
Samantha holding sweet treats at Emporium Espresso.

Samantha displays some of the sweet treats available at Emporium Espresso. Photo: Michelle Rowe.

White picket fences aren’t exactly de rigueur in Fyshwick. And it’s not the kind of spot you’d make a beeline for to buy a pair of Gucci loafers or a vintage Louis Vuitton clutch.

But an unassuming building on the corner of Lyell Street and Barrier Street in this semi-industrial Canberra suburb is full of surprises.

The Designer Op Shop Emporium is not any old secondhand store. Glittering trinkets, designer dresses, vintage homewares and pre-loved jewels are perfectly curated across 400 square metres of floorspace, punctuated by oversized mirrors, sparkling chandeliers and eclectic art.

Sweet treats at Emporium Espresso.

There’s no menu at Emporium Espresso, just the goodies you see in the enticing display cabinet. Photo: Supplied.

The cornucopia of collectables is the work of Sharyn and Dion Pitsilos and their daughter, Taylor, who needed a bigger space for their successful Designer Op Shop in Braddon and found a vacant building that began life in 1942 as a transport depot east of the city.

“We saw a great opportunity because ladies would buy beautiful clothing and wear them maybe once or twice, but there was no outlet where they could resell or recycle them,” says business manager Dion, who adds that the Instagrammable nature of the emporium, which opened three years ago, is all down to Sharyn and Taylor. The larger premises has enabled the family to expand far beyond designer clothing.

As a committed shopper, and one who is particularly keen on vintage finds, I’m kicking myself that I’ve not stumbled across this place sooner. Countless hours could have been spent rummaging through the 12 stalls selling everything from tribal art and antiques to Scandinavian glassworks, perfumes, retro furniture and fine china.

Interior of Emporium Espresso.

Emporium Espresso is a relaxing oasis in semi-industrial Fyshwick. Photo: Michelle Rowe.

The competitive, and tiring, nature of secondhand shopping is perhaps why the Pistilos family decided to add a cafe to the premises a year ago. So popular is Emporium Espresso that Dion has been busily working on an al fresco dining area at the front of the building.

Bordered by a white picket fence – newly erected by Dion – and pots festooned with flowers, this outdoor space with a handful of tables and chairs is as compact as the cafe itself, but a welcome option for shoppers as well as the many regulars who pop by for a bite of breakfast or a light lunch as the spring weather sets in.

The boutique cafe continues the family business tradition. Dion’s Greek-born mum, Angela, makes several of the delectable goodies featured on display each week. Her lemon cake is dotted with fresh lemon peel and drizzled with a generous amount of syrup – the perfect follow up to her delicious flaky spanakopita stuffed with spinach, feta, onions, parsley and mint.

Lemon cake from Emporium Espresso.

Angela’s lemon cake is scattered with peel and served with a generous pour of syrup at Emporium Espresso. Photo: Michelle Rowe.

Also homemade by Angela are the savoury Greek muffins wrapped in baking paper, and a dangerous looking tray of baklava. Rounding out the offering at Emporium Espresso are a variety of sandwiches and wraps – roast beef, butter chicken – vegie frittata and other baked goods sourced from Deakin’s popular EQ Bakehouse. There are also vegetarian and gluten-free options such as a brownie and an orange and ricotta cake.

The coffee is excellent, with beans sourced from Sydney’s Blacksmith Coffee Roasters – you can buy a 1kg bag at Espresso Emporium if you haven’t had your fill.

There are smoothies and soft drinks available, too.

Homemade Greek muffins at Emporium Espresso.

Homemade Greek muffins at Emporium Espresso. Photo: Michelle Rowe.

The food at Espresso Emporium is simple but satisfying fare, particularly Angela’s homemade treats. The range is not huge – there is no menu so what you see in the display cabinet is what you get – but I love this eclectic little spot. It’s the perfect vantage point from which to mentally plan the order of attack on those fabulous collectibles.

With dainty treats served on old-school china and the venue’s feel of stepping back in time to a more decadent era, Emporium Espresso is a rare jewel among Fyshwick’s sea of hardware stores, car dealers and wholesalers.

Emporium Espresso at the Designer Op Shop Emporium is open from 9.30 am until 4 pm every Wednesday to Saturday, and from 10 am until 4 pm on Sundays.

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34 Responses to Op till you pop in Fyshwick
Emily Garver Emily Garver 7:41 pm 28 Sep 20

Nick Duncan I want to go here

Amy LD Amy LD 5:39 pm 28 Sep 20

Stephanie Burgin Oh la la

Jemma Sbeg Jemma Sbeg 10:44 am 28 Sep 20

Kate Boulter shall we

Alex Patterson-Ford Alex Patterson-Ford 7:29 pm 27 Sep 20

Rita Vought we will go here next time!!!! Jacqui Patterson-Ford

Karin Hill Karin Hill 7:10 pm 27 Sep 20

Ilona we should check it out ☺️🤩

    Ilona White Ilona White 7:12 pm 27 Sep 20

    Karin Hill Sounds like a great idea. 👍🏻😘

    Alison Loughton Alison Loughton 7:26 pm 27 Sep 20

    Karin Hill I was just about to tag you in this, we mentioned going here a while back and never did!

    Karin Hill Karin Hill 7:56 pm 27 Sep 20

    Alison that’s right! Must go there soon!!

Elysha Fordham-Young Elysha Fordham-Young 5:56 pm 27 Sep 20

Sarah Fordham-Young this is the shop which was packed with cars out the front yesterday

Jenny Gleeson Jenny Gleeson 4:08 pm 27 Sep 20

Jodie Lemmey we need to check this out !!

Shann McQueen Tye Shann McQueen Tye 3:47 pm 27 Sep 20

Annie another one for the list 🎉

Megan Howdle Megan Howdle 2:16 pm 27 Sep 20

Kylie Ella roadtrip!!

Seraina Elia Seraina Elia 2:14 pm 27 Sep 20

Gemma O'Kane is this what you meant ?

    Gemma O'Kane Gemma O'Kane 2:21 pm 27 Sep 20

    Seraina Elia different store but emporium is also beautiful! I go all the time!

Lauren Anna Lauren Anna 10:32 am 27 Sep 20

Carly Monahan for our next coffee date!!!???

Margie Layman Margie Layman 10:21 am 27 Sep 20

James Layman Tamara Manson this sounds interesting

Emma Chesher Emma Chesher 9:59 am 27 Sep 20

Dani Alomes oooo we should check this place out

Aimie Wilkinson Aimie Wilkinson 9:36 am 27 Sep 20

Jaclyn lunch this week?

Judy Sheargold Judy Sheargold 9:18 am 27 Sep 20

Margaret A Sykes Karen Honeysett Jenny Lowes Linda Murphy we should check this out.

    Linda Murphy Linda Murphy 9:24 am 27 Sep 20

    Judy Sheargold Karen and i have been there, it's lovely!!

    Jenny Lowes Jenny Lowes 10:34 pm 01 Oct 20

    Judy Sheargold Sure Jude, good idea. Will take that being Gospel, from Linda!!

Linda Leavitt Linda Leavitt 8:53 am 27 Sep 20

Anu Purmal. Your favourite shop!

    Aileen Hayes Aileen Hayes 8:58 am 27 Sep 20

    Linda Leavitt was I there?

    Anu Purmal Anu Purmal 9:19 am 27 Sep 20

    Linda Leavitt Yes loved it. I wear my gilet all the time. Need a new one. Tried on the beautiful suit I bought, a few days ago. Yes, definitely my favourite shop x

    Aileen Hayes Aileen Hayes 9:37 am 27 Sep 20

    Linda Leavitt read my lips. Lol.

Gay McGuire Gay McGuire 8:46 am 27 Sep 20

Susan Nelms Christine McGlashan

This would be an interesting place to visit open Wednesday to Sunday.

My friend Tricia Thomas was telling me about it.

    Christine McGlashan Christine McGlashan 9:57 am 27 Sep 20

    Gay McGuire Sounds interesting and worth investigating

    Tracy Dunn Tracy Dunn 10:15 am 27 Sep 20

    Gay McGuire - it is a lovely little place for a browse around. Same as Dirty Janes which has a cafe also.

    Alan Sinclair Alan Sinclair 10:15 am 27 Sep 20

    Christine McGlashan and you can both visit Dirty Jane’s ( behind Domaine ) while you are there !

    Susan Nelms Susan Nelms 8:10 pm 27 Sep 20

    Gay McGuire sounds like a plan🌺

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