De Clieu, Mark Dundon and Bridget Amor’s (Seven Seeds, Brother Baba Budan) latest cafe venture opened this morning on Gertrude Street, Fitzroy. It’s a cafe we’re already crazy about.

Instead of opening yet another big cafe, with a suite of coffee toys trying to out do everyone else, they’ve pared everything right back and have created a great, simple cafe. There seems to be an over riding theme of elegant simplicity at De Clieu. Everything here is slowed down and feels a little more polished.

The space is named after the French Lieutenant who first introduced coffee to the French colonies in South America.

Seven Seeds has been the high water mark for coffee in Melbourne since opening three years ago, serving hundreds upon hundreds of cups of coffee every day. While the coffee at De Clieu is everything we expect from these guys, it’s not necessarily the focus here. Instead they’ve created a well-rounded cafe with great coffee, great food and great design. It’s ultimately just a really nice place to be.

The food menu has been developed by Steven Carr (Healesville Hotel, Giant Steps) and has a strong focus on small, local producers.

A feature of the space we love, which was fitted out by Six Degrees, are two great big counterweight windows with large wooden sills – perfect for sitting with your legs hanging out into leafy George Street.

Being on the busy shopping strip of Gertrude Street, they have taken the opportunity to develop the retail arm of their business. A corner of the cafe is specifically dedicated to finding you the perfect bean to take home. They’re encouraging the use of the French press, which everyone has and is capable of using to make an excellent cup of coffee at home.

We expect this place to be a Melbourne icon before the end of the weekend.

De Clieu
187 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy

Daily 7am-5pm

It appears to be opening season at the moment. Last week it was Friends of Mine, this week it’s De Clieu and we’re hoping to see The Premises open its doors in Kensington next week.