Six-month trial of more dining space, pedestrian access and speed limits starts on Darby Street

Darby Street has been transformed into an expanded eat street with cafes and restaurants able to spill out onto the road as part of a six-month trial.

Funded through the Streets as Shared Spaces initiative and with funding from the City of Newcastle Urban Centres Revitalisation Program, a 120m2 temporary dining platform, built using recycled materials, has been placed over several car parks between the Sanctum and Goldbergs restaurants allowing businesses to double their outdoor dining space and free up the footpath for more pedestrians.  

 Further along Darby Street, a new pedestrian crossing safely leads visitors to the re-energised Darby Headphones Courtyard. New street furniture, lighting, surfacing, and public art in the courtyard encourages people to visit, stay and connect. 

Deputy Lord Mayor Declan Clausen officially opened the trial yesterday said the temporary nature of the works allowed the City of Newcastle to trial these pilot projects with the support and feedback from the community and local businesses.


By implementing this trial, we hope to gain valuable insights that will allow us to plan for long-term positive change across the City’s Local Centres Renewal Program which delivers attractive, vibrant, and healthy open spaces.” 


Co-Owner of Three Monkeys café on Darby Street, Anthony Strachan said he is hopeful the trial will draw more people to the precinct and help showcase all that Darby Street has to offer. 


The last couple of years have been extremely challenging for all small businesses. We are already seeing people come back into the city and we are hoping this trial will lead to more excitement and an enhanced Darby Street experience,” Mr Strachan said. 


A condition of the NSW Government grant required Darby St speed to be reduced. Transport for NSW have approved a temporary 30km/hr speed reduction for approximately 400 metres of Darby St, between the Newcastle Art Gallery and 188 Darby St. 

To assist with availability of short-term free parking in the area, temporary drop off and pick up zones will be installed near to Council Street and car parking spaces to the rear of the Newcastle Library will be converted to 2P free spaces for the duration of the trial, offsetting carparks impacted by the temporary dining platform. 

The trial will celebrate Darby Street’s link to culture, art, music and food through a series of events including, temporary pavement murals and a pavement art competition by Chalk the Walk as part of the New Annual Festival and a free day of activities at the Darby Street, Street Party on the corner of Council Street, Saturday 15 October 2022.