Vinyl is having a moment in Brisbane’s food and drink scene. There’s the city’s first Japanese-inspired listening bar Ruby, My Dear, LP-spinning DJs at Fortitude Valley’s Stranded Bar, and a cafe-slash-music store in Woolloongabba. Now, with Straits, a specialty-coffee shop with a 200-strong record collection set to open in early September, we’re making it official: Brisbane is (re)entering the vinyl era.
“I always find that I really enjoy going to a venue, whether that be a cafe or a restaurant, that plays really good music,” founder Brendan McCrystal tells Broadsheet. “I haven’t seen many other venues explore [vinyl], especially coffee shops. So, I was like, ‘Why not?’”
Straits is the first solo venture from McCrystal, an experienced barista and coffee-shop operator. Coffee obsessives will recognise him from his time at The Black Lab Coffee Co, as well as Blackout Paddington and If You Say So.
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The weatherboard-clad space is charming but compact, just big enough for a coffee station and a few chairs and tables, plus some al fresco seating . The soundtrack, of course, comes courtesy of McCrystal’s collection – including a healthy selection of his favourite band, Dire Straits, from which the cafe takes its name.
Alongside a house blend by The Black Lab, Straits will offer a diverse rotation of roasters. A house grab-and-go cold brew will be available, too. The team is keeping things simple on the food front, with a handful of sweet pastries and savoury treats.
“I definitely think [Brisbane’s] coffee culture is super up there.” McCrystal says. “I’m a huge believer that your community is your bread and butter, so hopefully we can bring that into Coorparoo.”
Straits (82 Leicester Street, Coorparoo) will open in early September.