Tom Bailey and business partner Jariss Shead were the force that put Yarnsys Cafe in Tarrawanna on the map before parting ways.
Mr Shead went off to pursue musical interests with his off-beat metal band Troldhaugen, while Mr Bailey decided to open a sophisticated roof-top cocktail bar-cafe in Bulli.
Mr Bailey's dream, The Fitz, is near completion after a $500,000 renovation, with the opening date scheduled for early February.
"I've had this dream for a while," he said. "Yarnsys was a great foot in the door but I really wanted to tap into the alcohol market, do something really flash."
A Bulli local for most of his life, the 27-year-old would love to see the Thirroul-vibe spill into Bulli, and see the suburb thriving with hospitality.
I really wanted to tap into the alcohol market, do something really flash.Tom Bailey
He is a big fan of the cafe-bar culture in Melbourne, especially the suburb of Fitzroy, which explains the name of his new venue.
"They do hospitality so well, they're so far above the rest of the world and I just wanted to do something like that," he said.
"They're very innovative, the food is very modern, cocktails are very modern, they do everything with flair and everything is done with elegance.
"They really make dining at a cafe feel like you're out at a fine-dining restaurant where it could just be a coffee and a cheap feed."
The design process for The Fitz began two years ago with a few hurdles along the way.
Wollongong City Council wasn't keen on the construction of an entire second storey to the old chemist shop, so compromised with a rooftop patio including views of the escarpment.
The building alterations and fit-out were also delayed due to the bushfires and COVID-19.
"[The pandemic] slowed us down a bit, but the bushfires slowed us more because the main builder was a firefighter, so all summer he was fighting fires, then COVID-19 came," Mr Bailey said.
The entrepreneur has already secured a permit for alfresco dining and a liquor licence, and has a pile of staff applications to delve through.
The business will kick off with a bang and employ around 15 people to be spread across seven days of trade.
The Fitz is expected to open Monday to Wednesday 6am to 3pm, and from 6am to 10pm Thursday to Sunday.
"In 10 years time I'd ideally like to still be here," Mr Bailey said.
"I'd like this business to be booming and be able to support itself so I'm not working away, 80-hour weeks ... I'd just like to succeed here."
The Fitz will add to an already growing mix of hospitality ventures in the suburb, which include Resin Brewing in the historic Bulli Railway Guest House, The Jetty container bar on the bowling club green, and The Front Room wine and tapas bar inside the historic Stockbank House.