Tincat Cafe is a bohemian mainstay that exists as both an ode to the past and a continual reinvention of the space, built in 1858.
The property has always had a hospitality focus. It became a bakery in 1866, was home to one of the state's first female-owned pubs – Maggie's – and even had a brief stint as a brothel. Until 1998, it was a studio for artist David Bromley.
Current owner Claire Graham truly lives and breathes the place, and even lives upstairs with her family. But the close of 2016 will mark the end of an era, when Graham sells up to developers. For now, the art deco cafe continues to feel like home.
The space is spread over three dining rooms and a large courtyard, but feels comfortably ramshackle. Velvet upholstered armchairs sit alongside studded vinyl school chairs; the hull of a boat is propped up outside; there’s feline motifs a-plenty; and chalk scratches measuring Graham's daughters' heights.
The food is mostly Mediterranean but gets reinvented with the seasons – peaches are traded for nectarines, then replaced by figs. Ingredients are always locally sourced. There’s global dishes such as Parisienne gnocchi with asparagus, burnt butter and hazelnuts; and Moroccan za'tar roasted cauliflower, sesame labneh, pomegranate and mint.
Tincat provides a platform for emerging artists. All the art is for sale and, rather than focusing on a singular style or medium, Graham curates artists who have a passion for their art but are shy about sharing it.
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