In June of 2020, former US Barista Champion and WBC Runner-Up Charles Babinski announced that he was stepping away from Go Get Em Tiger and G&B Coffee, the renowned Los Angeles chain of cafes he founded alongside fellow USBC champion Kyle Glanville. While he would retain his ownership stake, Babinski would be otherwise stepping away from day-to-day operations.

In the near four years since, news about Babinski’s next steps were all but non-existent, as was his social media presence. Now, in 2024, Babinski is back with the opening of his all-new coffee shop, Cafe 143 in the Sydney suburb of Bronte.

News of the new cafe broke in December by the Sydney Morning Herald, though the majority of the article was spent on discussing Cafe 143’s neighbor, Bar Buci, a fashion retail spot by day and bar by night started by the family behind the famed Iggy’s Bread. Taking over both of the side-by-side storefront, the Ivanovics “persuaded one of the rising stars of the North American coffee scene to relocate to Australia and operate a cafe.”

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Babinski (left) with father and daughter Igor “Iggy” and Mishka Ivanovic. Via Sydney Morning Herald

“My dream was to start another coffee bar, I just left at the worst possible time to start a new business,” Babinski tells Sprudge. There had been rumors in previous years of the GGET co-founder starting a new shop in the Northeastern United States, but those plans ultimately got put on hold due to COVID, and Babinksi and his family eventually decided to move halfway around the world to Sydney, where he finds himself a coffee shop owner once again.

With Cafe 143, Babinksi is getting the chance to start over and get back to what drew him to coffee in the first place. “The thing that is exciting about it, that I wanted, is to go back to Square One, and figure out how to do the thing that I love about coffee,” Babinski states. Which for him, is working the bar. “I like working behind the bar. It connects a lot of different seasons of my life. I love meeting people in the community and being a small part of their day.”

Open for about five weeks now, the program at Cafe 143 is rolling out slowly. Currently, coffee is being provided by Sydney’s Mecca Coffee Roasters, and Babinski states that he plans to offer different roasters at some point, though Mecca is expected to play a significant role. There are all the standard cafe accoutrements—teas, chocolates, pastries from Iggy’s—with a more expansive food menu to premier in the coming weeks.

It’s a significant change of pace for Babinski, going from running a multi-location business with over 100 employees to owner-operator of a fledgling coffee shop, from one of the biggest names in American coffee to one of its “rising stars.” But that’s kind of the point. “There are no plans for world domination,” he states. In a lot of ways, it’s a return to form. Babinksi made a name for himself helping to open Intelligentsia Venice, the brand’s second outpost outside of Chicago. And he finds himself once again trying to gain footing as a familiar commodity in an unfamiliar place. After a near four-year hiatus, Babinski is back where he love, back behind the bar, and he’s never been better.

For more information on hours and updates, visit Cafe 143’s Instagram.

Zac Cadwalader is the managing editor at Sprudge Media Network and a staff writer based in Dallas. Read more Zac Cadwalader on Sprudge.