When Cat and James Laskie installed a neon ice-cream decal on the front wall of their new cafe, they didn’t consider the impact it’d have on the kindergarten next door.
“The point of it was that we’d leave it on at night, and anyone who drove past would notice the cafe,” says Cat. “But instead, all the kids come in looking for ice-cream – they call us the ‘ice-cream cafe’.”
Gellibrand opened a month ago on Gellibrand Crescent in Reservoir. Like the siblings’ other cafe, Adeney Milk Bar in Kew, it’s named for its address. “It’s not that creative,” says James, “But putting the location in the name instantly gives it that community feel.”
It’s a big space, with room for about 80 seats. Before it was a cafe, it was a ceramics shop and studio. Before that, an office (where the counter is used to be a hallway). And before that, it was a grocery store – the Laskies have kept the original floor tiles.
The menu is similar to that at Adeney: basic sandwiches; eggs and sides; porridge and muesli; an impressive smashed-avocado tower; and weekly specials. There’s Doughboys Doughnuts on the weekends, and other sweets (baked in-house by Cat) all week. The pair is also looking for gelato suppliers to appease the younger customers.
The drinks list is huge. Aside from coffee by Wide Open Road, there’s golden and matcha lattes; regular and white hot chocolates; chai; iced coffee and chocolate; affogato; spiders; juices; smoothies; milkshakes; and teas. No booze yet – they’re waiting on their liquor license.
James and Cat’s grandmother lives in Reservoir, and from their visits they knew the area needed a cafe. “The north is inundated with cafes, until you get to here,” says Cat. “And it’s really not far – I can see the city skyline from behind the coffee machine.”
For this reason they may open Gellibrand at night in the future. “We’ll have a fair bit of fun with this business,” says James. “We’ll keep testing things here that we haven’t done before.”
16 Gellibrand Crescent, Reservoir
Mon to Fri, 7am–4pm
Sat & Sun, 8am–4pm