For a long time, Brighton’s Jetty Road was a black spot for coffee. But in 2015, Josh Rivers rolled the dice on a discrete, boxy tenancy with no street frontage and opened Cream (an acronym for Coffee Rules Everything Around Me). Five years later and the business was thriving. So, in late 2020, Rivers upped the ante, launching Cream 2.0 with 100 square metres of new dining spaces (acquired from the adjoining tenancy) and a completely redesigned kitchen.
The extension brings in plenty of natural light, which really brightens the place up. Clean white tiles, bench seating and exposed copper piping give the venue a relaxed, contemporary feel. There's a new, second coffee station, too, to service takeaways while the original caters to the dine-in crowd.
One feature that remains untouched is the venue’s signature wall – covered in autographs from happy diners such as The Hilltop Hoods, Julia Gillard, Teresa Palmer and Timberwolf.
All that spaces allows Cream to stay open late for dinner. The beachside diner has always served a breezy breakfast-brunch menu tinged with Americana: hotcakes with maple bacon and fried chicken, and so on (its doughnut breakfast sandwich stacked with egg, bacon, American cheddar, tomato, lettuce, rosti and mayo is a sight to behold). And the dinner menu has a similar theme – expect hefty meals such as cheeseburgers with "baconaise" and house pickles. Plus, big buckets of fried chicken.
Cream is unlicensed, so for drinks there's post-mix sodas and thickshakes made using a hydraulic press that churns dairy ice-cream into a soft-serve-like consistency. The drinks are made at 14 degrees, for maximum viscosity.
As the acronym suggests, Rivers is big into coffee, which has played an integral role in Cream’s success to date. On top of running his own cafe, he’s a state latte art champion and brand ambassador for roaster Five Senses. Cream stills offers a full espresso menu, plus a rotating filter offering, brewed through his gadget of choice – a Marco SP9.