While there’s no shortage of quality coffee in the city, many venues focus on turning out quick takeaways for time-poor workers rather than creating a space for respite from the daily grind. Enter new cafe Howard’s Groove, a partnership between Milligan Street cafe Smooth Operator and well-known local coffee roaster Twin Peaks.
The underground venue, just off St George’s Terrace, promises a true escape from the CBD hustle and bustle – a place to “pause and recharge”, says Isabelle Morgan, co-owner of both Smooth Operator and Howard’s Groove.
“We’ve worked together for a number of years and it was a good coming together of our two brands and our coffee friendship,” she tells Broadsheet.
“We saw an opportunity to create a unique space. We poured a lot of time into the design and layout. We’ll have some nice areas for people to have meetings and sit down, and a more transient zone where you can wait and pick up your coffee and go.
“We’re hoping it will be sunken city oasis – an escape tucked away from the Terrace.”
The space was previously a cafe, but the team has stripped it right back and started fresh. At 50 square-metres, the new shop is twice the size of Smooth Operator with a sleek, contemporary design.
“We opted for a neutral, tonal palette paired with a very deep, rich, dark grenache wine colour on the ceiling, and little pops [of colour] throughout the space to create a comfortable yet moody surrounding,” says Morgan.
“There are some nice curves in the space and rounded edges that reference our logo,” she adds, pointing to the custom furniture and fittings from local design and production studio Remington Matters.
A Kees Van Der Westen Spirit espresso machine takes pride of place, soon to be manned by co-owner Fabien Zuffo. Naturally, Twin Peaks will represent the core coffee selection however other roasters will make guest appearances. The food offering will mirror Smooth Operator, with a focus on toasties and other grab-and-go items.
Howard’s Groove opens at 22 Howard Street, Perth (just off St Georges Tce) on Thursday July 30.