South Sydney cafe owners spreading joy in their locked down communities


Local cafes have become social hubs for communities separated by COVID-19 lockdowns.

HAM founders Harry and Mario Kapoulas say they recognise the cafe’s role as a breakaway for customers.

“We make it a point to be positive and make it fun to come back, instead of getting caught up in how many cases there are,” Mr. Kapoulas says.

“We want them to come and enjoy themselves, to try and forget about the tough stuff that’s going on, and give them a reason to laugh and something to look forward to in their day.”

Mario, Kitty and Harry Kapoulas are key to the success of HAM (Photo:

The brothers say it’s really the coffee people come back for.

“I think our customers keep coming back because they know what they’re going to get,” Mr. Kapoulas tells the Daily Telegraph.

“It’s good quality, consistent coffee and food every time they come in – and we actually do it because we love it, not just to serve people coffee.”

Stephanie Tsiotas says her community of Kingsgrove is keeping her cafe alive during lockdown.

“We’re a suburban cafe, the neighbourhood is majority residential housing and because everyone else has been in lockdown as well we’ve been able to get through this period without hitting the panic button,” she says.

Stephenie Tsiotas runs Meeting Morgan (Left: AAP) (Right: Daily Telegraph)

“It’s like a sanctuary – our customers come through and they enjoy the food and beverages, but they also feel like they are at home and it’s a comfortable environment for them.”

Cafes will reopen for indoor dining in a COVID-safe way the Monday after NSW hits its 70 percent double vaccination target. 

Across NSW, 84.1 percent of adults have had the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 56.6 percent have had both doses. 

Source: Daily Telegraph




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