Brunswick has lured the creative and curious to set up camp for decades. But the last few years have seen a new phenomenon – people crossing the city to poke around the suburb’s eclectic businesses. Basically, there’s never been a better time to immerse yourself in the neighbourhood's flourishing and ardently community-first scene.
Meet six of the Brunswick East institutions that cement the suburb’s status as the arts and culture hub of the inner north.
Northcote Pottery Supplies
Don't be confused by the name of this ceramic paradise. Located on Weston Street in Brunswick East it is where local makers have learned to navigate a wheel and kiln, transforming clay into covetable ceramic homewares and gifts. Learn from the pros with short courses and workshops, book a wheel in the studio for self-driven throwing or pick up pottery supplies to create your first collection.
142–144 Weston Street, Brunswick East
There are two kinds of car bumpers in Melbourne: those with 3RRR stickers displayed, and those without. The proudly independent community radio station has been broadcasting new, classic and under-the-radar artists and voices for more than 40 years, and offers training for eager future-broadcasters to hone their skills. Subscribing to 3RRR not only gives you a sense of local pride and the knowledge you're supporting an iconic institution, it'll also get you priority access to giveaways and intimate gigs in the Triple R Performance Space, where artists like Courtney Barnett, the Teskey Brothers, the Drones and Chet Faker have graced the stage.
221 Nicholson Street, Brunswick East
What began as a tiny operation comprising a few friends, an old 35-millimetre film scanner and a strong wi-fi connection behind a roller door has expanded into an institution much-loved by Melbourne’s photography community. To get your photos developed, just find one of the black dropboxes located in stores and cafes across Melbourne, deposit your film in a completed job bag, then wait for the Paypal request and Dropbox link to arrive in your inbox. Your Insta-ready photos are ready to download! And if you don't know your Minoltas from your Mjus, pop into the lab and the friendly team will give you a primer, and recommend a professional set-up or point-and-shoot to suit.
16 Black Street, Brunswick
Investing in a growing art collection can often mean spending just as much – if not more – getting it ready to display on the wall. Frames Readymade wanted to change that. Take your photos or prints into the workshop, and explore pre-made frames in 50 standard sizes and a variety of finishes from sustainable materials. It's a hands-on experience, which makes the end result affordable. The team will show you the ropes if it's your first time, and can also work up a custom frame, mat or mount to ensure your art shines.
352 Lygon Street, Brunswick East
Brunswick Bowls Club
It calls itself the friendliest lawn bowls club in Melbourne for good reason. At Brunswick Bowls, you can try your hand on the green any day of the week – the serious competitors are on a separate green to “barefoot bowlers”, so there's no risk of intercepting a rogue jack. Inside the club is where you might stumble upon a gig, trivia night, big screen playing footy, or live stand-up from a big-name comic.
104–106 Victoria Street, Brunswick
When juggling a laptop and latte on a tiny cafe table doesn't quite cut it as an office anymore, Mycelium Studio has a solution. This multidisciplinary studio in an old factory is home to a community of makers and doers. Whether you need a quiet spot to write, studios to record music in, a space to host an event or a workshop, or a space to film the next Best Picture, you'll find it here, along with a bevvy of creative thinkers to bounce off or collaborate with.
Factory 1, 10–12 Moreland Road, Brunswick East
This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with East Brunswick Village.