While The Reading Room, a cafe on Victoria University’s Footscray campus, has proved a popular spot for a coffee with a side of study, attracting non-students has been more challenging.

In a smart move to create awareness about a hard-to-find spot as well as giving a little love to the local community, The Reading Room will host a ‘Pop-up for Charity’ café over eight weekends. Starting over the Easter long weekend, each instalment will focus on a different charity and donate 20 per cent of the takings to the chosen cause.

Owners Eleena and Michael Tan, both food consultants, hope people will seek out the beautiful space with the studious bent, designed by IF Architecture, donate to a local cause and enjoy a fantastic seasonal menu designed by Ingo Meissner, formerly of St ALi and Outpost. “When we set up The Reading Room, the university was very keen for us to be able to branch out to the community, specifically the Footscray area,” says Michael, “and we were very encouraged by that because we wanted to find a vehicle that would engage the local community, especially local charities.”

Starting with the Good Friday Appeal on April 7, the cafe is looking for charities to send submissions for the following seven weekends, preferably local charities to support the area. “We want to create a relationship with the local people and through being open on weekends and we can get to know people from the area, who they are and what they need,” Michael explains.

Potential charities can submit proposals of 50 words or less. The quality coffee’s just an added bonus.

The Reading Room
Building P, Ground Floor
Victoria University, Footscray Park campus
Ballarat Road, Footscray

0413 842 690

Mon to Fri 7.30am–7pm
Sat & Sun 8am–6pm

Email submissions to marz@readingroomcafe.com.au