Little Mule is easily missed. Then again, that’s almost the minimum requirement for a laneway cafe in Melbourne. Situated near the competitive cafe strip on Little Bourke Street, it holds its own, mainly because it doesn't try too hard.
New owner (since 2016) Justin Radford is determined to make the place a spot for dependable coffee (roasted by Newtown Specialty in Fitzroy) and better business meetings and study sessions. There’s free Wi-fi, power outlets and if you get there between 7.30am and 9.30am on weekdays, coffees are $3.
Little Mule offers breakfast and lunch, from simple toasties and bagels to the full-fledged: corn fritters, chicken sandwiches and pulled pork. The barista is also a baker, making fresh pies and cookies twice a week; and baking sweet and savoury muffins on-site.
It’s cosy, understated, and welcoming. Having said that, you’ll need a competitive edge to claim a spot on the prized leather couch.
Laneway Learning hosts events here on Tuesday and Wednesday nights. If you're ever shopping for an event space for creative workshops, parties or product launches, ask for the barista package – it comes with projectors and flat whites.