Don’t be surprised if the coffee here rings a bell. The new kid on Windsor’s block is the third venture for Daniel Zalcberg, the man behind the Artful Dodger of Elsternwick and the recently acquired Whyte’s of Glen Huntly. His new venture, The School of 7 Bells, stars its own unique house blends as well as a rotation of carefully selected single origins.

Named after a mythical Colombian school that teaches children how to pickpocket, The School of 7 Bells looks to continue along the Artful Dodger tradition of independence and cheekily straying from the rest of Melbourne’s cafe scene.

The small cafe is surprisingly spacious inside, owing to an interesting arrangement of seating that lines the wall of an alcove, leaving a comfortable half-moon of space facing the espresso counter. The décor is a carnival-esque pastiche of decorated panelling and stray knick-knacks. Shelves are lined with games, tattered children’s books and small pyramids of faded canned tomatoes sit on the open, breezy espresso window. In an attempt to categorise its design aesthetic, Zalcberg describes The School of 7 Bells as “old library meets butcher shop”, but the most important thing is to make people feel at home.

Breakfast and lunch is a medley of the usual suspects, as well as the not-so-usual: red velvet pancakes, a breakfast 'caprice' salad and chimichurri roast beef sandwich with celeriac and carrot remoulade being a few to command attention.

Empty and abandoned, this lonely Chapel Street space has been a lost soul for too long. We’re happy to know that this little orphan has found a good home at last.

The School of 7 Bells
33 Chapel Street, Windsor
(03) 9521 5535

Mon to Sun 7am–4pm