The gang behind a number of Melbourne’s most successful cafes is on the move yet again. For their next venture, Nathan Toleman and the team are moving into unchartered territory for them: Melbourne’s CBD.
“It’s our first city site,” Toleman says of the forthcoming cafe, which will be housed in an old factory. “We want to create the ultimate Melbourne cafe in the heart of the city. We’re really excited about it.”
Toleman, along with Ben Clark, Jesse McTavish, Diamond Rozakeas and Sam Slattery – are the brains behind daytime food institutions such as The Kettle Black, Top Paddock and the since-sold Two Birds One Stone, Three Bags Full and Liar Liar.
“This is the space – it’s 400 square metres, with massive high ceilings,” he says as he shows us a picture of the extraordinary interior on his iPhone. He won’t reveal the former factory’s precise location.
They have enlisted a design firm to help with the fit-out of the new space but Toleman remains tight-lipped about which firm they have chosen. Until recently he built and designed his own spaces. But he collaborated on the group’s latest eatery – the Kettle Black in South Melbourne – with Studio You Me. It’s not the firm they are using this time around.
Toleman thinks there’s a market in the city for the type of cafe experience he has rolled out so successfully in suburbs across Melbourne. He says while there are a number of great cafes in the CBD – and obviously high-end restaurants aplenty – this project is on a scale that hasn’t been done before and will bring the type of space usually found in the likes of North Melbourne and Richmond to the centre of the city.
“That’s we want to do – we want to keep pushing the bar.”
The new space will commence construction next month and is set for an April opening date.