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.”