Hot venue: Kansas City Shuffle

The Rocks gets a hip(ster) new venue.

Kansas City Shuffle

The Rocks gets a hip(ster) new venue.

Located in Gloucester St’s former Cadbury Chocolate Factory, Kansas City Shuffle is hospitality veteran Ben Sweeten’s seventh café venture, having previously opened the hugely successful Joe Black café in Surry Hills and was head barista at Proud Mary in Melbourne.


Head chef Kayne Papworth, who built his reputation at Melbourne’s Proud Mary and cult-café/bar Dr Morse, has designed a menu featuring a mix of superfood dishes and twists on American diner-style favourites. Everything is made in-house using fresh, seasonal Australian produce, from the brioche rolls to the flavoured butters and condiments. Standout dishes include fried chicken on a house-made donut bun with slaw, pickles, and jalapeno aioli; beef brisket and waffles with smoked chilli butter and poached egg; and toasted pumpkin bread with avocado, whipped feta, heirloom tomato and toasted seeds.


Kansas City Shuffle’s street-facing Little City Window also offers a smaller takeaway menu with options such as chia pudding with fresh fruit, coconut and puffed grains or nourishing gluten-free bowls with tofu, smoked chicken, or salmon, as well as expertly-prepared Single Origin coffee.

The venue’s interior, designed by Sweeten, features a mix of stone, wood and greenery, to create a contemporary, laid-back vibe. Sweeten’s twin brother Jimmy created furniture using recycled oak, and the striking wooden tiered light fitting that is a focal point of the café. A communal table with powder-blue patterned tiles and crescent-shaped booths offer comfortable seating areas between the coffee bar and open kitchen.

A selection of red, white, rose and sparkling wines are available, as well as catering for local businesses. The kitchen also currently caters to private events in the venue’s additional space that seats 150 and can cater for up to 200 standing. This area will open to the public as a bar in early 2016.

Kansas City Shuffle is located at 195 Gloucester St, The Rocks, NSW.

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