It might look easy for Monica and Jimmy Strong. The couple has become known for two cafes – Artie & Mai and Arthur’s Green – that are as popular as they are relaxed and uncomplicated.

But plenty of method goes into this magic. Take their new eatery, Macho Macho. The Ashgrove West space, once a travel agency, has been fussed over with its exposed brick, pink features and custom neon. There’s even a mural by Joel Birch (artist and lead singer for the Amity Affliction), which the Strongs say originally set the tone for the space.

“We wanted the place to be fun. We all take this industry a bit seriously,” Jimmy says. “It’s food and drink. People are meant to feel good when they come in.”

As for the name, it’s down to a little bit of family inspiration.

“Our surname is Strong. Our oldest daughter, Maible, says to herself, ‘Be brave, be brave.’ That kind of resonated with us,” Monica says. “We wanted to be brave. So here we are – it’s just down the road from our house, it’s pink and it’s called Macho Macho. It’s pretty brave.”

The menu is breakfast through dinner and includes dukkah-crusted eggplant, fall-off-the-bone beef rib, zesty pancakes with honeycomb and house-made hash cakes with egg and relish – an enormously popular Artie & Mai import.

The drinks are beers, wine and cocktails, while two pours of coffee from Seven Miles include the roastery’s award-winning Cultivar blend.

Macho Macho opens this Thursday March 22.

Macho Macho
498 Waterworks Road, Ashgrove West
(07) 3366 9375

Mon to Wed 7am–2pm
Thu to Sun 7am–late