Like drumming, a good cafe needs three traits to run successfully: timing, consistency and quality. Drummer Boy Cafe, from western suburbs locals Michael Ryan and Libby Eastwood, has these in droves. The newest establishment to join Port Adelaide’s emerging coffee scene is already seeing repeat customers since it opened one week ago.
Hospitality has long been in Ryan’s blood. His grandfather opened the Port Mall’s Cafe CoCo in the ’80s, and Ryan has worked in local and international restaurants. He describes a previous stint in London working under Michelin Star-winning head chef Tom Aikens as “scary as hell, but addictive”. “There’s something about that lifestyle that’s very competitive, brazen, in your face,” he says. “You don’t like it, there’s the door.”
The London riots of 2011 convinced the pair to head home, where Ryan spent two years working with Quang Nguyen at Devour Cafe Patisserie.
Ryan and Eastwood’s modus operandi is “less is more”; something they feel strongly about in an era of over-consumption. “We know what we want when we go out,” says Ryan. “We don’t want to see 30–40 things on the menu. We just want to see five or six done well.”
That simplicity is evident throughout the venue. With a little help from friends and family, the office-turned-cafe took six months to renovate, with time stolen between previous full-time jobs.
The full menu launches soon and promises exciting creations such as banana-bread waffles, vegan French toast and roast pumpkin pie with almond meal crust. In the meantime, early adopters can score a slice of Eastwood’s raw vegan slices and coffee from speciality roaster 5 Senses.