A decade after opening Gattica on Carlisle Street and then Hard Yak cafe in Hardware Lane, Sergio Grigor returned to his old stomping ground, launching Garage Espresso. The customers followed.
Using his keen eye and some help from designer Sally White, he gutted the compact, elevated cement and brick digs that for the previous 50 years housed a mechanic’s workshop. Then he installed a striking wooden ceiling, splashes of red details, a bamboo wallpaper bar and a shiny silver Synesso coffee machine. A seasoned barista, Grigor knows his way around his machine and, coupled with Merlo beans, the consistently crafted coffee is a standout.
The menu is made of fresh, seasonal and local food, with brands Woodfrog Bakery, Meredith goat’s cheese and Mount Zero pulses scattered throughout. Kids are well catered for too, with fun optionssuch as ‘tiger toast’ (melted cheese and Vegemite fingers), egg soldiers and a dish called ‘the mousetrap’.
Fresh pastries and cakes come steaming from the kitchen daily, and if you’re lucky you’ll chance upon Garage Espresso on the day Grigor’s Italian auntie delivers her famous cakes and tarts. Think chocolate, pear and hazelnut or bite-sized amaretti. Belissimo.