It was only in 2008 that Peter Frangoulis opened the original Dukes Coffee Roasters in Chapel Street, Windsor. A legion of caffeinated fans quickly followed, prompting the Dukes crew to expand and open a second venue, a little closer to the city. At the time, the growing Docklands precinct seemed like an ideal fit and a tender was put in for retail space inside the new NAB building development at 700 Bourke Street.

Meanwhile, as construction of the banking tower was underway, a new shopfront had become available in the ground floor of Ross House on Flinders Lane. It was an opportunity too good to pass up, so when Dukes at Ross House opened earlier this year, Frangoulis suddenly found himself with more cafes than he had bargained for.

The latest Docklands location, however, is a bit different. Opening just last week, Story Coffee & Foodstore serves as the corporate cousin to the Dukes label, catering to the neglected office workers and apartment dwellers who inhabit the struggling CBD outpost. Unlike the flagship Dukes cafe, the focus at Story is on takeaway coffees and ‘grab and go’ meals, which include traditional panini, toasties, muesli and salads, as well as a more adventurous honey-candied bacon roll (it's been a best-seller so far).

Two coffee machines stand at the helm (one for black coffee and one for white), working with a considered selection of single origin beans and blends (including the classic Dukes Espresso and Ross House blends).

Although seating is limited, the purpose-designed space provides office escapees with a momentary place to recharge. With smooth wooden panels, soft lighting and tailored detail signal Dukes’ signature stamp, with designer Chris Connell achieving a warmth that contrasts nicely with the concrete chaos and metallic sheen of the surrounding buildings.

With specialty coffee like Dukes and Halyard Coffee and new art space The Food Court slowly trickling in, it’s a good sign for the corporate precinct.

Story Coffee & Foodstore
700 Bourke Street (concourse level), Docklands
(03) 9600 0558

Hours
Mon to Fri 7am - 4.30pm