No Vacancy Gallery and Cafe
Andrew Chew and Ryan Taylor opened No Vacancy Gallery in 2008. As its 10-year anniversary approached, the duo was met with a dilemma: rent had reached an all time high, so the guys could either close or find a way to keep going.
So they added a cafe. Since opening in early 2016, it’s become a regular hangout for office workers, residents in QV’s apartment towers and gym goers from the neighbouring Fitness First.
Industry Beans coffee is served in dusty-coloured, handle-less ceramic cups. Pressed juices from Bruce Juice are available, as are Industry Beans tea blends. American-style cookies, pastries from Noisette and 5 & Dime bagels are on offer if you need something to munch on. Friday is Doughboys Doughnuts day.
Ben Stray (who Chew and Taylor co-own Northcote’s Top of the Hill with) is the talent behind the fit-out. Strong industrial features such as a fish-oil-coated steel bench are balanced with the wooden counter, hanging plants and illustrations by street artist Ghostpatrol – a long-time friend of the gallery. The bookshelf is lined with children’s books from illustrators who have exhibited in the gallery, including Academy Award-winner Shaun Tan and Chew’s wife Charlotte Lance.
At night the cafe transforms into a bar for openings and the gallery is used to run regular expert talks such as moonshine making, kombucha making and cheese appreciation.