Thursday, May 15, 2008

what a find!

tucked away down a nondescript sidestreet in south melbourne, a stone's throw from busy clarendon street is this haven. it must be melbourne's best kept secret, but thanks to a tip-off i knew to look for it here. St Ali is a coffee house in the finest tradition.
not a coffee drinker any more, i can still enjoy the vibe of this magnificent converted warehouse. the space breathes, and the attention to detail goes right down to the chair seats re-upholstered in hessian coffee bags. this cafe is a model for the type of place i'm seeking for my next project. its tucked away but clearly the locals have no trouble finding it. seating for at least 30 with singles, mums and suits mingling, i felt quite at home despite the lack of raw food. They did however have OJ on the menu.
Ali was a sufi mystic from the late 14th century, a kind of patron saint of coffee, according to St Ali's website. it's places like these that make melbourne the foodie capital of australia.

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