It’s no surprise the building itself is the hero of Emilio Rogliano and Daniel Amato’s cafe. The heritage-listed structure has overarching curved exterior towering over Hope Street, grand circular window up top and timeless, sturdy brickwork.
The site started off as a power station (“lux” is a measure of luminance) in the late 1800s and has been many things since then. Up until the 1950s it churned out thousands upon thousands of Lux-brand stoves and ranges. The duo nods to this past by displaying with original Lux stoves and old boxes salvaged from Rogliano’s grandparents’ old foundry. If you look closely, you’ll also notice the original signage out front.
The duo took over the lease in 2010 and transforming the shell into a cafe and sometime event space, serving Proud Mary coffee and a menu mindful enough to accommodate vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free punters.
On weekends, the brunch crowd returns for the crispy poached eggs with Asian slaw and chilli jam on Rustica sourdough. The classic eggs benedict is another winner and swaps the ham for slow-roasted pork.
On sunny days, prepare to queue. The outdoor seating is popular with locals and offers plenty of shade under the umbrellas. There’s room for your dog, with water bowls to keep the pooch hydrated while you down a Market Juice and sample the Middle Eastern breakfast with beet-root relish, smoky baba ganoush, falafel and poached eggs.
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