If the brief for opening a new cafe in Brunswick is to meld a neighbourhood vibe with delicious coffee and innovation, then Kines have nailed it with their most humble of espresso bars. The brains behind the build is Keeden Harvey, who has teamed with fine furniture maker Callum Matheson, to convert the old shoe warehouse into Hope Street’s newest digs.
The space is decked out with custom-built furniture and other pieces that look more like they survived a friend's spring clean. And perhaps that's exactly what happened, as the whole thing is a collaboration; you can spy Matheson working next door, while down back sits JacksonJr, a space that is open for pop-ups and creatives to rent month-to-month. Currently, it's home to The Break Room: a place where you can unleash your anger on items of delicate crockery by way of a pink baseball bat. Really.
The sharedness of the whole space makes it perfect for those who need an ad-hoc office. The crowd’s a mix of students, freelancers and creative sorts, all happily making use of the free Wi-Fi and finger-tapping away while the soft crackle of vinyl plays overhead. Harvey invites guests to freely swap the Wu-Tangs for the Leonard Cohens at any time.
And we invite you to mull it all over with a hearty cup of their Seven Seeds filter ($4). If you prefer your re-fuel milky, then you’ll be pleased to hear the creamy tides are from St David Dairy. The menu’s tight — it is an espresso bar, after all — but tasty. The beetroot toastie with goats' cheese and wilted citrus greens ($14) is our top pick; the pickled roots are all grandma’s recipe and are sliced generously thick. Try it with a side of house-made kimchi ($4) for some extra zing.
Out front, sit beside a mural by street artist Toggles (aka Jasper Killick) which provides the perfect bacterial banter as you finish your session with one of Citizen Cacao’s raw chocolates. The orange and pistachio number ($4) is a fine choice to sneak from the shelf into your mouth.
And if you feel morose to leave, then book one of their rare, but refined dinners. They happen once a month and are perfect for those looking to treat themselves to an evening six-courser ($80). So pop in sometime, and take your share of Kines' humble hospitality.