Republic of Moreland

June 10, 2008

Lurking in Lygon St

Filed under: Brunswick,cafes & pubs,food,Lygon Street — Faithh @ 1:08 pm

Our local chunk of Lygon St has generally been a bit dull. Unless you’re into gambling and McDonalds followed by a bit-of-a-hoon in a motorized wheelchair that doubles as a Jason recliner, in which case you might well enjoy it. I don’t to get to do any of this stuff any more since the four-year-old came along.

However things are looking up. At least for me.

Artisan Espresso opened recently at 438 Lygon St, down near the tram stop opposite CJ Fabrics. One of the owners, Marinus Jansen (of appetite food store, North Melbourne) has paired up with Josh-the-coffee-roaster-Bailey to provide a little piece of heaven locally. What’s great about the place is they do coffee and ONLY coffee. Well, Ok, they do other beverages, but no food. Soon there will also be a retail coffee outlet opening there from where you will be able to buy your beans. And they are in the process of moving Josh’s roaster onto the premises so soon I’ll be able to tend the chooks and wrangle the vegies (or is that the other way around) while the heavenly aroma of roasting coffee comes wafting up the laneway. Now thats going to be good for productivity! The house-blend, Padre is a great all-rounder and has become our coffee of choice at home with good reviews from all of our vistors. Meanwhile at Artisan Espresso itself you can regularly try the various beans as they are roasted and experimented with.

It gets even better. Just a little further up, where the wool shop used to be, an organic bakery and cafe will be opening. The owner is a pastry chef who previously worked with the guys from Loaf of Bread in Nth Fitzroy. Now I’m looking forward to that!

And if you want real unsubstantiated gossip, the old cheesecake shop is currently undergoing extensive renovations and the rumour-mill insists that it is all being done for George Calombaris of The Press Club. Whether or not this is true remains to be seen but it certainly adds to a sense of rejuvenation in the strip.

Vegie2Go also opened in this strip of Lygon St late last year and while the franchise-style doesn’t do much for me the Italian based vegetarian food is always delicious. Handy as a take-away alternative. Can’t quite come at eating there.

Lush is another new addition; an enormous place (three shop frontages I think) packed full of furniture, clothes, jewellery, and thingies all of a very lush persuasion. Again I have to admit it’s not really my style so I can’t vouch for the place but if you suspect ‘lush’ is what you’re after then it would be worth a look.

pict0421.jpgAnd of course there are our old favourites, the record shop with a picnic set for sale in the window, the Organic Grocery Store, Casa Della Pasta (who now also make fresh organic pasta), Nabil the hairdresser, (love that waft of patchouli everytime you ruffle your son’s hair) and a fabulous Indian herbs and spices store where you can also pick up the latest bollywood DVDs.

Foodworks mind you, I could live without. For the handfull of things I do buy in a supermarket you still can’t go past IGA in Sydney Rd, Brunswick.

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10 Comments »

  1. Oh, MAN am I excited by the bakery. We have NOTHING in our vicinity. Good middle eastern bakeries, yes, but on a Sunday morning you really hanker for a solid rye sourdough or a buttery escargot… any idea when it’s opening? I hope it’s as good as Sugardough further south in Lygon St: they’re the BEST.

    Mind you, Loafer Bread in Nth Fitztroy is also EXCELLENT, so if the owner of this one is indeed from there, yippee!!

    Comment by Girl on The Avenue — June 12, 2008 @ 10:35 am | Reply

  2. Pure hearsay, but we know someone who’s friends with an owner of The Press Club, and she tells us that the old cheesecake shop will be a Greek taverna owned by George Calombaris. I will be very disappointed if it’s not!

    Ahh, just seen this, so must be true!
    http://www.theage.com.au/news/epicure/espresso/2008/03/10/1204998320588.html

    Comment by Girl also on The Avenue :) — June 15, 2008 @ 5:56 pm | Reply

  3. yummy! And Each Peach, the pastry/foodstore/bakery place was due to open about a week ago from memory so I’m hoping any day now.

    Comment by faith — June 15, 2008 @ 9:10 pm | Reply

  4. A quick update:

    -Each Peach is open, and serving delicious organic food and coffee. Also very child friendly, especially in the back room where there is a lovely open fire.
    -Artisan esspresso is temporarily closed and will be re-opening shortly under a different business name.
    -Apparently HR (George Calombaris’ new place) will be opening further south in Lygon St, closer to Rumi etal. The old cheesecake shop is “just some lebanese bloke selling kebabs” as it was put to me. But who knows?

    Comment by faith — July 9, 2008 @ 2:20 pm | Reply

  5. Oohhh, can’t wait! Thanks for the updates, but just saw this on http://blog.youknowitmakessense.net/2008/07/george-ventures-north-ii.html

    “Exciting developments on George Calombaris’ venture into Brunswick East. From John Lethlean’s original mention of it being ‘along Lygon St from Rumi’, I picked out a shop being renovated near the corner with Edward St as my predicted location.

    But no! Excitingly, he’s venturing further north than that. The folks at Republic of Moreland were onto this last month and there is now signage on the site to confirm it: Calombaris will be opening his Hellenic Republic taverna on the corner of Stewart St, at the site of the old cheesecake shop. There’s a lot happening on that strip: Each Peach and Vege2Go are two of the newer proponents, and with the traffic a new Calombaris venture will guarantee it will be interesting to see where we go from here.”

    So much speculation! Hope it’s right!

    Comment by Girl also on The Avenue :) — September 5, 2008 @ 5:20 pm | Reply

  6. yeah, forget to mention it but it was plastered in posters a few weeks ago confirming it. Can’t wait, Calombaris described it as new-style-old-style Greek taverna which sounds fine to me!
    -also artisan espresso HAS re-opened, still roasting coffee to drink there or take home.
    -and each peach are also selling coffee beans now, roasted in Nth Melbourne by Josh Bailey to take home, organic nicaraguan, Very yummy!

    Comment by faith — September 5, 2008 @ 5:28 pm | Reply

  7. Heeeeyy just discovered your excellent blog… bookmarked immediately! I have a Melbourne-based design blog (www.thedesignfiles.net) and thought I was pretty clued-up about other Melbourne bloggers… but you proved me wrong!

    Also wanted to let you know that my partner is opening a bar in Lygon st, Brunswick next weekend… and you’ll be pleased to know its a little further North than the Rumi/Alderman/Atticus Finch section… it’s number 295, roughly opposite the Brunswick East Hotel.

    The place is called Mr Wilkinson, named after the “Father of Brunswick” Thomas Wilkinson, who founded the area over 150 years ago, and was apparently a very well-respected local guy.

    We live in Brunswick too, just round the corner from the bar… loving all the new energy this side of town at the moment!

    Comment by Lucy — October 26, 2008 @ 10:16 pm | Reply

  8. Good news to hear of Hellenic Republic opening up in the strip! People seem to sleep on Thangs and Mi Corazon though – the Roo Burgers at Thangs are great and the Tecate and Tequila at Mi Corazon is a great departure from other local pubs, including the horrible Lyndhurst.

    Comment by Attica — November 4, 2008 @ 2:50 am | Reply

  9. Thanks for the information. I admit I was looking for something different and ended up here, but I appreciated the read, cheers 🙂

    Comment by safetybar — July 18, 2010 @ 12:04 pm | Reply


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