Misc //

Your one-stop guide to King St tobacconists

Honi Soit is addicted to fruit bars.

Art by Lauren Lancaster

You need your fruit bar fix. You might be baking a cake tomorrow. You head to King St. But you’re confused, overwhelmed by choice. Which tobacconist/convenience store sells the cheapest fruit bars, who has the widest variety, the friendliest staff, the warmest lighting?

Your questions conclusively answered once and for all below:

7. Cignall Wilson St – 2/10 (a donkey) $$

This cult tobacconist does not live up to the hype. The exposed brick walls and aesthetic pipe display may appear laid-back, but the highly-strung staff are not. Cignall consistently complicates picking up a last-minute midday fruit bar by often not selling them in the daytime. Their popularity with the late-night crowd allows them to hike up their fruit bar prices, but their cream chargers are consistent with the rest of King Street. The ‘key cutting’ business behind the till is consistently unmanned and quite disconcerting. 

6. Fast Imart near Newtown Station – 3/10 (only out of necessity) $$$

You’re either en route to a flaccid inner west house party, or coming home early from a cottagecore piss-up in Campo. But you’ve got a bit of a commute ahead of you and need a fruit bar, stat. The cash register is right at the entrance, putting you in plain sight of all the King Street busybodies — not exactly ideal for your desperate fruit bar purchase. Where are all the good flavours? Why is everything so expensive? What the fuck is an ‘Imart?’ You awkwardly manoeuvre your hand under the glass divider to give the cashier a fifty then rush off to catch the next 370. 

5. City Convenience – 4/10 (more fish sauce than fruit bars) $$

You can’t be arsed to shlep it any further down King St, so you stop at this disappointing convenience store. The cream chargers are reasonably priced, but the fruit bar selection is limited. The fluorescent lighting drills deep into your skull and triggers an existential crisis. However, this store is good if you plan on whipping up a quick meal, with a wide variety of sauces, spices and stock-standard stomach fillers.

4. Missenden Rd Ezymart – 6/10 (old faithful) $$

The fluorescent light across from the Marlborough Hotel is home to the one of the closest EzyMarts to the University. The Missenden Road Ezymart boasts a consistent variety of fruit bars and a fashion-forward supply of sunglasses and beanies with pom-poms at the entrance of a hallway of refrigerated drinks. The tattered, unlaminated menu certainly degrades the shopping experience yet the friendly staff make up for it. The coffee machine perched in the front corner offers the perfect late-night pick-me-up. 

3. CtC – 7/10 (variety and reliability) $$

After your Sunday morning cleanse in the gentrified health food shop next-door, you pop into this unassuming yellow bolthole which hides a menagerie of fruit bar flavours and fun bonus experiences. However, a lack of cream chargers and snacks might cause some inconvenience. The staff are friendly, but the big ticket item is the hairdresser in the back of the shop. Get some blonde tips with your Blue Razz next time you’re down near Newtown Station. 

2. Red Shop – 8/10 (if u can handle it) $

The scent of Hannah Montana shampoo and a family of pigeons eating seeds on the floor greets your nostrils as you cross the road from Marly to enter The Red Shop. Perusing the post-apocalyptic supplies on the towering cold metal shelves you find toilet paper behind locks, imported pomegranate juices and 99c cans of soft drink. This place must be a front for something. A hairy-chested cashier chain-smokes darts as he offers you an unlaminated menu of questionable fruit bars: red wine? Fruit fusion? You purchase the red wine but the light flashes before you even have a taste. You are offered a free replacement and exit the warm lighting of the store, left to question your life choices as you stroll back towards uni, but the devil inside begs you to return.

1. EzyMart King & Egan St – 10/10 (superb) $

A nutty aroma wafts out onto King St from this killer convenience store’s roasted nut bar, plastic-wrapped cinnamon donuts and burning incense. Its attractive bright blue corrugated iron exterior entices you in, where soft golden lighting and a display of crawling spider plants atop a high-tech coffee machine create a calming interior environment. A wide variety of random off-brand never-before-seen snacks creates interest, while the witty staff banter back and forth as they offer discounts on already cheap fruit bars and cream chargers. A clear winner, you’ll never turn back.