District Brewer feels like owner Leor Haimes bottled some of Melbourne’s inner-city cool and transported it seamlessly to Bentleigh. Placed among a row of unpretentious local shops that includes a drycleaner and a milk bar, District Brewer has established itself as another local necessity.
The cafe was once part of the neighbouring drycleaner, but Haimes took half the space and spent two years converting it into this brunch-goers dream. Between the Mr Benedict, which puts a spicy twist on hollandaise, and the combination of sweet and spicy in the Za’atar Crepe, the crowd favourites are given a Middle Eastern twist. And after a long hunt for the perfect brew, the team now sources its coffee through The Maling Room.
The space, designed by friend Nathan Ruttner, is warmly lit and fronted by expansive windows. Different shades of green dot the interior and the exterior, with hand-painted designs by artist Chehehe on the walls of a long and narrow outdoor courtyard that’s lined by bright synthetic turf.
Growing up in Bentleigh, Haimes wanted to keep the talent local, and the suburb is better for it. Though this is his first foray into cafe ownership, the spot has a feeling of effortlessness. The dishes are hearty and have the full force of a passion-project come to life.