Popular West Leederville cafe Hylin was coffee-passionate architect Josh McGinnity’s first hospitality venture. Ready for a new challenge, McGinnity sold Hylin last year and, after a few months’ rest, started another ambitious project. Named after the famous Soviet space dog, Laika Coffee has been built from scratch in the shell of a Lathlain washing-machine workshop.
“It was a brick box with no openings so we cut everything in ourselves,” says McGinnity, who owns the cafe with his brother Ryan. “I spent about two months doing the design, then two months doing the build. We learnt a lot from Hylin about where things needed to go. It’s quite succinct and the staff can move around, but it’s still casual.”
Laika’s key point of difference is its in-house coffee roastery, jointly owned by McGinnity, roaster Seb Huigens – formerly of Mano a Mano – and barista Ru Teow. The roastery is single-origin only and will not produce blends for milk coffees.
McGinnity views the cafe as the flagship for the Laika brand – something like Melbourne’s Seven Seeds – and plans to sell its coffee to other venues.
“We’re trying to do something that’s not common in Perth, almost like a cellar door for coffee,” he says. “Our baristas have an impact on the coffee we’re delivering. We know the product we’re getting is exactly what the roaster wanted.”
The cafe’s batch brew is an unusual offering from Norwegian roasters Talor &Jørgen that has already piqued the interest of local coffee enthusiasts and baristas.
Ex-Hylin chef Peter Colliver runs the kitchen, and the all-day brunch menu shows familiar inspiration. Offerings range from expected egg and granola dishes to toppings-on-toast and a brunch pasta. Chicken and veggie burgers are available from mid-morning.
“We wanted a menu that people would feel comfortable eating on a Tuesday, Thursday or Sunday morning – a bit lighter, more on the go, readily available. Not two slices of bread and huge sides,” says McGinnity.
Dinner service is on the cards once the team has settled in.
“I hope to get a liquor license, and be like a Melbourne cafe/restaurant that offers breakfast, lunch and dinner, 365 days a year,” says McGinnity. I love those kinds of institutions, and I think Perth’s hospitality staff are becoming more accustomed to that.”
11 Lathlain Place, Lathlain
0497 009 335
Mon to Fri 6am–3.30pm (kitchen 7am–2pm)
Sat & Sun 6am–2.30pm (kitchen 7am–2pm)