After selling Liar Liar in early 2009, Nolan Hirte opened this excellent cafe in the back streets of Collingwood.
Hirte and his team are set up with some ridiculous toys. There’s a syphon bar, an army of grinders housing a variety of Proud Mary's own blends and single origins. Once there was also a little one-kilo roaster used to produce small batches for the cafe, but when the huge Aunty Peg's opened nearby in 2014, all the roasting operations moved there.
But the crown jewel of the coffee toys at Proud Mary is the six-group custom-made Synesso espresso machine. That thing is a bus. Synesso has taken two of its three-group machines, melded them together and topped it off with chrome and wooden finishes, as well as a foot pedal-operated steam wand. It's madness.
The space doesn’t feel very Collingwood: it’s slick and shiny, and being just off Smith Street, the likelihood is that this place will accelerate the gentrification of the strip now well underway thanks to places like Saint Crispin, Rockwell & Sons and Huxtaburger. We’ll leave it up to you to decide if that’s a good thing or not. Either way, we strongly suggest you get down to Proud Mary and check it out.