Ossie the barista

Ossie center

Maria Carra

Old Customers

Piccolo artists.

Ossie pouring

Old Customers

A Kings Cross Survivor

Having operated for nearly 60 years, the Piccolo Bar is one of Kings Cross' survivors. It's had it's fair share of publicity over the decades and if "Underbelly" had it's way, they'd probably build a replica of it rather than use it's original character. Rather than trash the place on commercial TV, we have had great, positive interest from the ABC.

Recently, the Piccolo has had a day of filming the legal drama "Rake" detailing the life of barrister Charles Waterstreet, one of our customers. The first film session involved actors like Lisa McCune and Richard Roxburgh. Coming soon are film days with the likes of Hugo Weaving and Noah Taylor and director Rachel Ward. we are looking forward to the future gatherings which have become more of a social event rather than film set. One thing we ask is that Vittorio doesn't give away the props. They need them to give the impression the actors are eating... ok Vito?

To Quote George Negus (ABC Tv):
"...our location is Sydney's notorious Kings Cross, as good a spot as you'll get for any number of nocturnal activities, like discotheques, snooker halls and...other stuff that's usually done indoors in private between consenting adults, if you know what I mean. Longtime Cross dwellers - and they do still exist - will tell you that these days, the older bohemian atmosphere of the place is pretty much gone. But if you use some imagination, you can still catch a nostalgic whiff of it at places like the Piccolo cafe."

Started by an Englishman named Bill Vader in the forties, The Piccolo became a hang out for many of Sydney's jazz musicians in post-WW2 Kings Cross. It was a vibrant, colourful place that attracted many after-show performers and has outlived most of Sydney's cafes and venues. The place became a hive of social interaction by the late fifities after businessman Ossie purchased it following a win on the horses.

Ossie later decided to hire his part time barista as a full-timer. His name was Vittorio Bianchi, an Italian migrant from Napoli (Sorento area). The two remained friends until Ossie's passing away. Vittorio has continued to run the Piccolo the way Ossie did. Tough but with compassion and support for those down on their luck.

This quaint, little coffee shop has been patronised by the most interesting people. They have come to regard "The Piccolo" as their meeting place. The atmosphere is decidedly intimate and conducive to the making of conversation. The music in the juke-box is a mix that sums up over 50 years of cafe culture. Amongst some of the new tunes are a number of pop, classical, blues and world music by names like: Margret Roadknight, Jeannie Lewis, Renee Geyer, Marianne Faithful, Wendy Saddington, Fifi L'Amour and David de Most, Allan Lee Jazz Quartet, Stuart D'Arrietta, Anna Vissi, Pino Daniele, Mario Merola and Paolo Conti.