“I didn’t particularly want to do another spot,” admits Alistair Corston, owner of hole-in-the-wall coffee shop Seafaring Fool, which sits in the Grenfell Street-facing corner of JR’s Surf & Ski.
But when an opportunity cropped up in Glenelg South, Corston – who missed out on the same tenancy once before – changed his tune. Despite two cafes turning over in as many years in the location, the former boat captain has a soft spot for the area; he grew up around the corner on Ramsgate Street. “I used to deliver newspapers around here when I was 12,” he says.
Corston recruited two long-time mates to share the load of the (notably larger) outpost, Seafaring Fools – plural. Chef Ben Nash (Borsa Pasta Cucina) and barista Joel Materne (Froth and Fodder) are also stakeholders, which helps Corston sleep easy. “I know they can’t leave,” he says, laughing.
It pays to have good mates. The trio’s family and friends rallied together for a one-month fitting-out. The now 61-seater cafe retains its Art Deco frontage and north-facing bay windows. Art is beamed onto the wall by a projector. Compared with its seatless Grenfell Street sibling, it’s a mansion.
The team ditched the existing three-burner to make way for a commercial kitchen. Nash also did away with the microwave, favouring a completely from-scratch all-day brunch. “He had [the menu] up on the wall of his house … to get it all flowing,” says Corston. The staples are levelled out with a few standouts, such as the pork and coriander dumplings with broth, and a Reuben sandwich.
Corston’s mum sneaks in a word with him during Broadsheet’s visit. She takes care of the juices.
South Australian produce takes centre stage: Adelaide Hills Kanmantoo bacon, Fleurieu Peninsula free-range eggs and Pirate Life-battered onion rings. DeGroot Coffee Roasters provides the stimulants.
Corston calls surfing buddy Trevor DeGroot “the goose that laid the golden egg”. He’s a fan of DeGroot’s quality-control-over-money-making mentality. “[Trevor] keeps a close eye on all of his accounts to make sure they’re making perfect coffee.” Take note of what it’s served in, too: striking HK Living ceramics, a gift from Corston’s mates at Home Supply (in the JR’s building).
The (almost) seaside cafe is dog and bike friendly, and there are plans for a bike rack on its Hastings Street side. An in-the-pipeline liquor licence will eventually allow the boys to share their favourite SA wines and craft beers until 10pm.
60b Broadway, Glenelg South
Mon to Sun 8am–4pm (kitchen closes 3pm)