He’s taken the best parts from his cafe past – Willim’s communal intimacy and Hobba’s finicky quality – going it alone to produce Francis; a sleek, cosy and welcome addition to this northern fringe of the CBD.
Beyond financing and managing the venture and also heading up the kitchen, Numan has also drawn strongly upon his artistic background. As well as designing and executing the fit-out, he’s responsible for the striking paintings hanging on the walls and the pin board studded with flyers for nearby city galleries. In fact, the name Francis is not only a nod to the Franklin Street location but to Francis Bacon, Numan’s favourite artist.
It’s a relaxed space with the outdoor seating ideal for a summer’s day. This inviting atmosphere is on par with the food, where the focus is on high quality local produce crafted into a simple menu of reasonably priced breakfast and lunch fare.
All day breakfast options range from Brioche by Philip sourdough with Cunliffe & Waters jams and Myrtleford butter to Kangaroo Island eggs with sides of Yarra Valley feta and avocado. Come lunchtime, choose from the open sandwiches of Milawa chicken or Istra bacon and eggs. Coffee comes courtesy of Seven Seeds, while other beverages include Chamellia Organic teas and freshly squeezed Market Juice.
There’s a nice vibe at Francis Coffee, a place not only to get fed and watered but with beers, ciders and wines rounding off the menu, a place to unwind and hang out with your mates too.