For seven years Glen Morris has searched his feelings. Winning over a slew of city slickers with his irreverent Glen’s Espresso coffee cart (and its honesty box system of payment) on Ann Street opposite Town Hall, Morris has been inspired by Star Wars – and an infamous piece of Star Wars-referencing stand-up comedy, in particular – to open his own cafe. “Ever since I saw the Eddie Izzard comedy bit, Death Star Canteen, I’ve said I want to open a hipster cafe and call it Death Star Canteen,” he says. “And here we are. I’m as surprised as anybody.”
The cafe is set to land at the far end of Queen Street, behind Riverside, with seating for between 20 and 30 people and a fit-out Morris describes as “ridiculous”. Think Lego Death Stars, Empire-themed graffiti and stormtroopers in hammocks. “And it has a roof and walls, which I’m very excited about after all these years standing around in the rain,” Morris says.
Ridiculous maybe, but Morris takes his food seriously. Death Star Canteen will look to capture the spirit of provincial Italian sandwich bars. “It’s amazing bread and produce sourced locally,” he says. “It’s homemade condiments and beautiful meats. Just something to be proud of. The concept will get people through the door once. The food has to be something extraordinary to get them to come back.”
And yes, Morris is planning on serving ‘Jeff’ Vader’s favourite, penne all'arrabbiata.
When can you witness the power of this fully operational battle station? May 4, of course – known among fans as Star Wars Day and marked by its catchcry, “May the fourth be with you”. “It will be a huge party,” Morris says. “We’ll have stormtroopers hanging out, handing out fliers and so forth … Really, we just want to have the most fun you can possibly have in a cafe in the city.”
Unfortunately, it will mean the end of Morris’s coffee cart. But his focus on exceptionally made fair trade and organic coffee will remain intact, as will the honesty box. “We are very lazy,” Morris laughs.
Only Darth Vader himself would be so bold.
Death Star Canteen
359 Queen Street, Brisbane.