From the team behind A Minor Place, Wide Open Road on Brunswick's Barkly Street is offering a lot more than the unassuming shop front suggests. With the subtle signage and brick finish, the place comes to life as soon as you step through the door. Wide Open Road certainly has space on its side. With a large bar area, white-painted brick walls, big communal tables and spacious thoroughfares, you won't feel like your neighbour is staring down on your breakfast. Designed by ProvanBuilt, it keeps the minimalist vibe inside.
On top of the cafe space, Wide Open Road has its own roastery, cupping room and green bean storage. While they focus on creating beautiful roasts for their own cafe, they also sell retail to the general public as well as a handful of wholesale customers. They use their Bathysphere blend as the everyday pour with single origin, drip, filter and iced varieties on offer. Coffee is serious business and they do it well.
When it comes to the food menu, chef Liz Milroy puts her own stamp on popular brunch fare. Sugar seekers should go for the rhubarb coconut and cardamom bread with poached rhubarb, pistachio dukkah and coffee mascarpone ($15.50) or perhaps the Rustica sourdough with banana, house made peanut butter and agave syrup ($8.50). For something on the heartier side, go for the portobello mushrooms in a preserved lemon chermoula with avocado hummus, spinach, smoked almond dukkah on sourdough ($16.50) or the cauliflower, ricotta and quinoa fritters with shaved Brussels sprouts, asparagus, chilli jam and poached eggs ($17).
Sandwiches are king on the lunch menu from the slow-roasted beef cheek sandwich with caramelised onions, chilli jam and smoked cheddar ($16) to the fish finger sandwich with smashed peas, seaweed tartare and pickled cucumber ($15). Salads are also there for the carb conscious.
With coffee, breakfast and lunch sorted, Wide Open Road is a caffeinated oasis in suburban Brunswick.