This story was originally published on June 10. Menu items may have changed.
The northern tip of Kangaroo Point has sometimes felt a little stuck in time, largely disconnected from the roaring pace of master-planned development that’s defined much of modern inner Brisbane.
But more recently it’s shown signs of life, particularly along the stretch of Main Street that descends down to Captain Burke Park. The FitazFK gym and Sea Legs Brewing Co have both opened. And just up the hill, Christian Jacques has developed a reputation for being one of Brisbane’s best small bakeries.
It’s here that Richard Kelly saw an opportunity.
“Kangaroo Point hasn’t had anything to draw people to it,” Kelly says. “It’s so close to the CBD and it’s quite affluent … It was developed primarily as residential, but it’s lacked that village hub for a while. It needed somewhere for people to go.”
So Kelly opened a cafe, Moonshine Coffee. His coffee roastery of the same name is a Byron Bay success story, its Federal espresso bar part of a tapestry of new restaurants and cafes helping enliven the shire’s hinterland. So why expand so far up the highway?
“We didn’t want to flood the local market down there,” Kelly says. “The scale of Brisbane is completely different.”
Moonshine Coffee is not much more than a hole-in-the-wall and streetside courtyard, with an enormous fig tree out front and the Story Bridge looming in the background. Inside, there’s a long timber bench with a clutch of bar stools and a small retail area stocking pantry items from Byron businesses such as Mayde Tea, Three Blue Ducks and Church Farm. And that’s about it. In terms of toeholds it could almost feel too slight, but Kelly had a bit of inside information from supplying coffee beans to Puk Espresso when it occupied the same tiny tenancy.
“I knew the numbers it could do,” he says. “It’s a location that I knew could work, and it’s a manageable size.”
Collaborating on Moonshine Brisbane is Camilla Henriksen, best known for Nundah cafe Chapel Park. Together, Kelly and Henriksen softly opened Moonshine on Mother’s Day in stripped-back form as they, like every other food and beverage business in the country, dealt with the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The one blessing of Covid for us is that we can reduce it down to a really simply offering and there are no expectations,” Kelly says. “Then we can slowly feel out what people want and grow it that way … It’s allowed us to take our time.”
For now, Moonshine is complementing its espresso and batch-brew coffee with Hrvst St juices, Good Happy Kombucha and Simple Organic Sodas. For food, there’s a rotating menu of toasties, Jocelyn’s Provisions sweets and Wardell pies, with a more extensive brunch menu planned for the future.
“People in Kangaroo Point were missing a touchpoint for the community,” Kelly says. “People are just happy to have somewhere to sit and have a coffee and catch up with their friends.”
98 Main Street, Kangaroo Point
Mon to Fri 6am–2pm
Sat & Sun 7am–2pm