When the original Toastface Grillah opened in early 2013, Perth was caught off-guard by this plucky cafe down a laneway serving grilled cheese sandwiches (with a gun-toting sanga for a logo). The disorientation was only temporary.
The combination of a great product, warm staff, plus the buzz generated by naming your business after a member of hip-hop supergroup Wu-Tang Clan made Toastface an instant hit. Six years and a William Street offshoot later (we see you, Lil’ Toastface), owners Marica and Alister Miles are ready to welcome Perth to their newest and biggest outpost: Toastface Grillah Wolf Lane.
Taking over the former Secret Garden site, Toastface’s new flagship cafe has been more than a year in the making. Marica, an architect by trade, project-managed the space’s transformation, while GMC Design + Construction – the newest project from Brenton Grove of The Bird and Young Love Mess Hall fame – created the custom carpentry throughout. In short, it’s a “bigger, more solid version” of the Toastface dream.
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“We got to build a space that works around our vision and environment as opposed to setting up something we thought would work,” says Alister. “But really, we were up against it [at the original Grand Lane address] from the start.”
As charmingly rugged as Toastface’s first two outposts are, its Wolf Lane flagship is a cut above. Its 100-square-metre footprint is split across an indoor area, courtyard and laneway. The cosy, well-worn aesthetic and hip-hop playlist of the original are present, as well as built-in tables and chairs (another Toastface trademark).
Although Wolf Lane is opening with the same sandwich and coffee menu as Toastface’s existing shops, Alister is preparing to launch an expanded food offering that includes salads, French fries and – best of all – soups. While guests are welcome to enjoy their soups however they like, Alister believes sandwiches and soups (in particular tomato-based ones) make ideal bedfellows.
“We’ve always wanted to use soups to enhance your grilled cheese sandwich experience,” he says. “If you get the bread right, the cheese right, the butter right and serve it with good soup, it just makes sense.”
Once the new cafe has found its feet, the couple is planning on applying for a liquor licence and adding night trading and evening events to the mix.