For Fairweather founder Simon Heinrich, swapping coffee grounds for concrete dust was a rewarding experience. But with construction over, he’s pleased to be back “on the tools” brewing exceptional coffee.
For a debut, Fairweather feels remarkably accomplished. It’s the result of careful design, which Heinrich achieved in collaboration with friend and designer Samuel Jeyaseelan. Clean lines make the raw, industrial space feel approachable and large windows at either end capitalise on natural light. A few key elements of the near 70-year-old building’s exterior have been cleverly incorporated into the decor.
Fairweather is already drawing a crowd of coffee-lovers and local workers. It’s one of two new businesses in the Powerplant Building on Solomon Street; alongside bar and pizza joint Sunny’s, which opens today. When Heinrich's former workplace, Please Say Please, sold in late 2015, it was “a good initiator to make something happen this year”.
From the EchoPanel tiles (cut by hand) that form the sprawling feature wall, to the reconfigureable communal table, the space is an extension of its owner in concept and handiwork. Text on the walls by both entrances acknowledges that Fairweather exists on the land of Australia’s First Nations people. “It’s a daily reminder to me that we live on stolen land, and are incredibly privileged to do so,” Heinrich says. It’s not some grand social agenda, just another aspect of Heinrich’s personal ethos.
Fairweather runs Small Batch Roasting Co’s signature Candyman blend through its two grinders. It also offers pour-over and batch-brewed filter coffees using seasonal single origins.
Heinrich is inspired by Middle Eastern flavours, citing the spring vegetable fattoush (a fresh, bread salad) and shakshuka (baked eggs, cumin-spiced labneh and house-made Turkish bread) as examples. There’s also a European influence, such as the saucisson sandwich with Dijon mustard, French salame and goat’s curd.