Light. Bright. Pink paint. Handmade coffee cups. Barista Helen Objartel’s quick smile and nimble intuition.

These aren’t the things that usually come to mind when pondering the metaphysical ins and outs of Franz Kafka’s work. But while this cafe is named for the dystopian Czech author, there’s a jubilant spin on things.

Nude Design partners John Durey and Sonja Danilovic began thinking about Kafka five years ago but only began bringing their idea to life in the past 12 months. The devil’s in the details, from the strings of hand-printed business cards, to the wall of dip-dyed takeaway cups and the 100-year-old leadlight window.

Because Kafka shares space with the couple’s design studio, guests can interact with designers and browse through some of the studio’s work. “We like it when people come in and read what we’re about and ask questions, it’s cool,” says Durey. “We want to be here for a long time and we could be a bit of a staple for this end of town.”

Kafka is located in what Durey likes to call "West Northbridge", an area where restaurants, bars and coffee shops are still scarce. It was precisely the sort of location that Durey and Danilovic had in mind: a liminal, developing neighbourhood of both residential and commercial properties in need of good coffee.

And the coffee is good. The beans are sourced from local roaster Twin Peaks, the new project from former Bossman owner, Tom Greene. For something a little more soothing, caffeine-free cacao husk tea from The Husk Mill is also offered. The bagels are from Perth’s Holy Bagel Company, while Bare Baker sweet buns feature among the locally baked pastries.

Kafka Coffee Shop
62 Fitzgerald St, Northbridge
(08) 6142 1198

Mon to Fri 6.30am–3pm
Sat 8am–1pm