The heritage-listed Braddock’s Dispensary has a history dating back to 1899 as a residence and medicine shop. Businessman Bruce Reynolds acquired the building recently, and though its name hasn’t changed, it has a new life as a cafe, with a few subtle nods to its history including chemist-style bottles and images of founder and Adelaide pharmacist, Charles Braddock.
Reynolds started his working life across the road from Braddock’s before starting his marketing business Crush on the opposite corner at age 22.
“It seems for the last 30 years I’ve been on the street corner in this area,” he says. “Braddock’s Dispensary always used to pique everyone’s interest; it’s different to the other heritage buildings on this stretch. As a 16-year-old upstart apprentice I used to joke with the guys that one day I was going to buy the building.”
Coffee is supplied by Toby’s Estate with its Woolloomooloo blend taking centre stage. While brewing the usual coffee suspects and offering a range of milks, Reynolds plans to specialise in cold brew and is flying in a specialist from Sydney to help get the formula right.
Organic Whistleblower Tea is also on the menu, including the “Live Long and Prosper” variety that costs $350 a kilo.
“I didn’t know I was going down the specialty-tea route before I started, but I just couldn’t say no,” says Reynolds. “It aligns with what we want to do, not as a point of difference, but as people. You want to put nice stuff into your system, and customers want to treat themselves to a nice cup of tea.”
Braddock’s has no kitchen but offers a range of sweet and savoury items from the counter cabinet including salads, sandwiches and cakes.
Refreshingly, Reynolds doesn't expect the cafe to be a money-spinner in its early days. Instead, he sees it as a passion project that serves quality coffee to the local community and complements his existing marketing and real estate businesses.
“The priority is to create a really cool hub for people to hang out, and to see our other business interests be involved with Northbridge from that sense,” he says. “If it’s not profitable, that’s okay as long as I don’t lose money and I’ve got satisfied people in the area.”
Braddock’s Dispensary is initially open on weekdays only. Weekend trade will be considered once the team has settled in.
180 Aberdeen Street, Northbridge
Mon – Fri 6:45am – 3:00pm
This article first appeared on Broadsheet on January 15, 2019. Menu items may have changed since publication.