Given the success of Miss Jones and Little Loco, it would seem husband-and-wife team Daniel and Hannah Bowles have gotten the hang of this whole cafe business. Which is a good a thing when you consider that – thanks to some delays on council permits – their newest venue Sister opened the same week their first child was due.
“It actually was really good timing in the end,” Daniel says, laughing.
“Obviously we wanted to open the cafe sooner … but Hannah was overdue by five days [and] if our little boy Leo came a bit earlier it would have made things a little more hectic.”
The shift in family life for the Bowles echoes some changes in how they approach running their cafes. “We actually looked at sites on Oxford Street originally. But we weren’t necessarily so keen on being on such a main strip,” Bowles says. “[Our site] is right next to the park, which on the weekends is full of parents and kids. It’s a lovely family-oriented suburb which we’re really enjoying.”
The name hints at those family values too, with Bowles wanting to pay homage to his twin sister, who passed away in 2008. “I always wanted to incorporate my sister in some way into something I would do in my life,” Bowles says. “I thought this would be a nice way.”
Like Miss Jones before it (Little Loco is now under new ownership), the bulk of Sister’s design features play out in shapes and colours – the Bowles prefer to keep the rest of the design fairly minimal. “I guess that’s our style,” Bowles says. “Minimal in terms of features, but still fun and light with pops of colour.”
Illustrations by Autumn Studio feature throughout, with doodles of dogs and plants dotted over the exterior of the cafe. The walls and coffee machine are all rendered in varying shades of peach, bringing a playfulness to the interior.
For seating there are benches, stools and a large table taking up the centre room. Outside, park-bench-style tables are perfect for customers who prefer to brunch with their four-legged pals.
Sister serves Single O coffee, this time pouring the Killerbee blend. The food menu is full of imaginative variations on the classics, including pork-belly Benedict with sticky pork, Asian greens, yuzu hollandaise and potato hash; gingerbread waffles served with cinnamon custard, honeycomb gelato and citrus meringue; and the Bowles’s take on avo on toast, with corned cream, hazelnut crumb, pickled onion, charred corn and chipotle.
2/273 Hawthorne Road, Hawthorne
Mon to Fri 6.30am–3pm
Sat & Sun 7am–2.30pm