After selling his stake in Sydney’s Corduroy, Ben Stronach and his partner, Natalie Kirwan, were ready for a change. The couple headed to the US for what Natalie describes as, “A coffee and motorcycle odyssey.”
What they brought home was the idea for a classic American diner, including bottomless cups of filter coffee, which has manifested in their new Carlton cafe, Queensberry Street Pour House.
Stronach, who built a reputation in Sydney as head roaster at Little Marionette, roasts the coffee himself and offers up a rotating selection, focusing on single origin. There’s also an unusual two-step white coffee, made by infusing filter overnight with homemade almond milk then serving with a fresh shot of espresso.
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The handwritten menu includes a standout coffee-soaked lamb pie, along with a meatball sub inspired by a “life-changing” lunch in Queens, New York. Kirwan also bakes a daily range of cakes and pastries, with vegan options, for those looking for something sweeter.
Each element of the cafe feels very considered – the couple even made the coffee cups themselves – but the space doesn’t feel fussy. Instead, the upshot is a homey atmosphere in which customers are encouraged to linger, chat with the staff and enjoy those endless refills.