St Kilda Road has pretty much just been office buildings and The Shrine of Remembrance for as long as anyone can remember. There are a few cafes scattered throughout the office blocks and high-rises, but now Slater St Bench is stepping it up with a very slick specialty-coffee offering in an area that until now has been a coffee wasteland.
In an easy-to-find corner on Slater Street, between the office buildings of the nine-to-five world, Frankie Tan, Patrick McAlary, and Josh Crasti from Drugstore Espresso and Jared Lawler of Clement Coffee, have created the cafe of the St Kilda Road workers’ dreams. Fit-out with a pristine white La Marzocco, Slater St Bench serves Clement Coffee – including rotating single origins – batch-brewed filter coffee and all the non-caffeinated drinks in between. The fit-out is clean, simple and aesthetically striking. There are high timber benches along one wall for leaning and low benches against wall-length windows for sitting. Central to the space is the large coffee bar with sitting room as well.
All four guys have a long history with the bean and are excited to offer St Kilda Road something fresh and modern. “We spent a lot of time exploring the best options – and we are proud to offer coffee of, what we believe, is the best quality around,” says Crasti. “We’re lucky to have our inside man, Jared, on the case.”
As well as providing coffee for the before, during and after work rushes, Slater St Bench has a selection of pastries and baguettes for those keen workers needing a quick bite.
Slater Street Bench
8/431 St Kilda Road, Melbourne
Mon to Fri 7am–4pm