Standing Room began when owner Thomas Kelly was at uni and in search of high-quality campus coffee. His hole-in-the-wall spots at Melbourne University, RMIT and Melbourne Central fostered a loyal customer base. Almost a decade later, in 2022, much of that original base had grown up and settled down – so Kelly opened Standing Room’s first fully-fledged cafe in Fitzroy North.

He settled on a sunny corner spot right across from Edinburgh Gardens and the local library – a fitting tie-in to the brand’s background. While the other locations have always been fast-paced and takeaway-centric, Standing Room Fitzroy North is a marked shift with a full-service kitchen and – despite what the name implies – plenty of room to dine in.

The former clothing store was fit for service with the help of IF Architecture, and brightened up with floral arrangements from neighbouring social enterprise The Beautiful Bunch. There are benches around the perimeter of the light and breezy whitewashed room and a handful of round wooden tables inside – and in the adjacent courtyard. True to the name, there’s a tall standing bar at the front where you can enjoy your espresso if you’re on-the-go.

If you’re pressed for time and hungry, there are sangas, Wild Life pastries, and house-made desserts like Basque burnt cheesecake and sesame-miso biscuits in the front cabinet. Otherwise, you might tuck into more hearty daytime-dining options: creamy breakfast congee with pickled mushrooms; cilbir (Turkish eggs); or a towering breakfast bun with bacon, Emmental, burnt-tomato relish and a brick of steamed eggs.

As always, coffee’s made with Standing Room’s house blend. It’s available to buy by the bag along with coffee-making equipment, Hunted & Gathered chocolate and other retail items.

Contact Details

Phone: No phone


Updated: January 18th, 2023

We do not seek or accept payment from the cafes, restaurants, bars and shops listed in the Directory – inclusion is at our discretion. Venue profiles are written by independent freelancers paid by Broadsheet.