You’ve probably passed this contemporary Japanese gallery in your travels through Surry Hills. Me&Art, the terrace on Mary Street, is hard to miss with its Astroturf porch and bursts of colour glimpsed through the windows. If you’ve always had the intention to drop in and never quite found the time, there’s a little more incentive now.
In a perfect marriage of art perusing and idle cafe lounging, they’ve started dispensing coffees from their front room. On top of a small menu including bircher and baguettes, the focus is square on the coffee. Beans are roasted onsite – no small feat for such a small spot. The staff can tell you the blend of the day (when we dropped in, it was two-thirds of an Ethiopian and one-third of a Brazilian). The concept is to treat everything as an art form, from the roasting to the service, and in particular the delicate brewing of a Japanese pour-over (espresso is available too, of course).
It’s not exactly an art gallery for Japanese traditionalists; instead there are loud lashings of the absurd, the whimsical and the provocative. It feels less like a gallery and more like a lounge room where the walls have been taken over by paintings and prints, watercolours and sketches. Even if your goal is a quick caffeine fix, you get a side of art while you wait, so it makes for accessible, even accidental, appreciation.
62 Mary Street, Surry Hills