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.
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.
The Queensberry Street Pour House
210 Queensberry Street, Carlton
(03) 9347 1277
Tue to Fri 7am–4pm
Sat & Sun 8am–3pm