23/04/2008 - 22:00

Moore than just good coffee

23/04/2008 - 22:00

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Perth coffee afficionados have taken to the city’s cafe revival with gusto, patronising the growing number of quirky, local cafes with their strong focus on quality coffee that have popped up in unlikely places.

Perth coffee afficionados have taken to the city’s cafe revival with gusto, patronising the growing number of quirky, local cafes with their strong focus on quality coffee that have popped up in unlikely places.

The likes of Urbanistar, hidden in one of the William Street laneways, and tiger, tiger, established under the brick arcades of the Murray Street mews, are among the cafes adding a new flavour to the local cafe scene.

Another is Moore & Moore, the cafe attached to the Moores Building Contemporary Art Gallery in Fremantle, which opened two months ago.

Located at 46 Henry Street in the heart of Fremantle, the cafe occupies the heritage-listed gallery’s side laneway, which is covered and leads to an open courtyard surrounded by brick walls and heavy wooden doors.

“The [art] gallery has been open for 15 years now and no-one ever utilised that space [the laneway attached to the gallery]. I actually came in here for a friend’s exhibition nine months ago and I saw the place and asked if it was used for anything else than the exhibition’s opening. I found out it wasn’t and put in a proposal to the council the next day,” part owner, David Osborne says.

Mr Osborne who runs the cafe with his business partner and fellow chef, Simon Naber, says he moved to Perth from Melbourne three years ago to escape the highly competitive hospitality market of the Victorian capital and find a more relaxed lifestyle in Western Australia.

He was amazed at the number of untapped opportunities for interesting spaces available in Perth – opportunities that would have been snapped up years ago in Melbourne.

“ I believe there’s a lot more space for quality businesses over here. I’ve seen so many amazing spaces since I have been in Perth that aren’t being utilised,” Mr Osborne says.

“We had our eyes on four or five before seeing this one.”

He says the premises of Moore & Moore were perfect for what two chefs were after.

“We were given a fantastic lease by the council, right opposite the university; we have the art gallery attached and it’s separated far enough from the main street to actually give us the kind of clientele that we want to get through here,” Mr Osborne says.

This clientele, he says, isn’t the tourist-type weekend visitor, but more Fremantle locals who have heard about the cafe through word of mouth and come in for the good food and good coffee.

“The people who come here want to be here, they’re not just coming to the cafe because they are walking past it,” Mr Osborne says.

“The trade has escalated much quicker than we expected; we haven’t done any advertising, we just invited all the locals and people we knew for the opening party and then, I guess, just through word of mouth.”

Mr Osborne says that, although there’s no intention to apply for a small bar licence as yet, other projects are in the pipeline as the two business partners are looking at developing a catering business out of Moore & Moore.

“We’ve had a lot of people approaching us in regards to catering and actually doing night time functions,” he says.

“We’ve already catered for a couple of weddings and parties outside of the venue, and now that the venue is open and people see what we are doing here, people actually are looking at holding functions here.”

And the owners are hoping to step back from the cafe business to look after the catering arm in the busy summer season.

The menu currently has a range of breakfast options and there is a display window with homemade paninis, quiches and cakes.

Mr Osborne, who is currently managing the front of house says he might swap roles with Mr Naber, currently looking after the kitchen, in six months time to keep things interesting for them and as well as for the customers.

Moore & Moore is open from 8am to 4pm seven days a week.

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