Open for just a couple of weeks, Arkwright & Co is already capturing the attention of North Carlton locals. Owners Bryce Ritchie and John Arvanitis (the duo behind the construction for Seven Seeds, El Chino, and Kumo, just to name a few) have converted the building themselves, adapting an unused textile warehouse into a 1950s-style tearoom and cafe.

The space itself has been in Ritchie’s family for generations. It was originally a factory for milling and weaving fine fabrics and importing and exporting Harris tweeds and Australian wool. So far only the front corner has been opened to the public. The remainder of the building is due to open for classes (such as leatherwork and wood carving) and artist collaborations in the coming months, which operations manager Ky Haus thinks would, “make the most perfect, awkward first-date”. Patrons of the cafe will be able to see all the action of the fully functioning workshop through glass-paneled doors in the lunchroom.

While waiting for the 96 tram, patrons might stop by the coffee window for an espresso courtesy of Seven Seeds, and perhaps a serve of toasted fig bread with mascarpone and honey, or a cheese and Smithfield ham croissant. A modest lunch menu references English and Australian classics, keeping it simple with a small range of pastries and sandwiches. Arkwright’s version of the traditional cucumber sandwich includes mint, mascarpone, avocado and roquette, or try the cured beef, dill pickle, carrot and white cabbage sandwich, served with a spicy ginger mayonnaise. At this stage, Arkwright is stocking Noisette bread, but there are plans for an in-house bakery before long.

A list of specialist-teas sits alongside the standard coffee offering, including the Iron Goddess, a fragrant oolong green tea sourced in Fuijan, China, as well as a standout bergamot-scented Earl Grey. On the sweeter side, try a fresh almond croissant, choc tops from Yumbo’s on nearby Rathdowne Street, or a milkshake made with fresh strawberries and milk from Jonesey’s Dairy.

Arkwright & Co
611 Nicholson Street, Carlton
(03) 9081 0012

Daily 6.30am–6.30pm

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