Creating a cafe that feels like it’s always been part of the neighbourhood was the goal for Nicolle Hahn and Julie Pieda when they opened Pony and Cole in Hindmarsh. They chose to retain much of the formerly industrial building they moved into, including its front windows and barn doors out the back. In addition to the cafe, the Manton Street space is also a gallery and events space, design studio Koush, and Union St Printmakers.

Pony and Cole’s seasonal menu has undergone many changes, but one constant is its most popular dish: a sweet potato rosti topped with avocado, pico de gallo and house-made dukkah. Also on the menu is “the nest”, a bird’s nest of tempura vegetables with poached eggs, asparagus, hollandaise, leek, baby herbs and furikake (a Japanese seaweed seasoning).

There are a handful of vegan options on the menu and many vegetarian ones, including the zucchini fritters and “pony pancakes” (which are served with whipped butter, summer-fruit compote, vanilla cream and candied nuts). Where possible, everything is made from scratch; even the bread is made on-site.

Pieda, an interior designer (she’s behind Koush), has ensured the fit-out of Pony and Cole celebrates the creativity in the building. There are seats she custom designed, silkscreened tables out the front, print images on the cafe’s walls, exhibitions in the gallery, and a mural in the car park that’s a collaboration between Pony and Cole and Union St Printmakers.

Pony and Cole has developed a strong local following, and is a game changer for the creative spaces in the area. Visit any day of the week and it’s possible a new connection is being made between long-time neighbours who’d never before had a chance to interact.

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Updated: June 7th, 2019

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