Since opening late last year, Loc Bottle Bar has continued to push and stretch the confines of what a tiny wine bar can do. Without a kitchen – but with a reliable induction cooker and outdoor barbeque – it’s hosted a revolving door of guest chefs for ramen nights, sausage sizzles, boozy brunches and more. Now it’s broadening the brief by doubling as a coffee shop during the week.
“I’d thought about [doing] coffee in the day from the beginning but … obviously the wine bar has always been the focus, so it was never on the agenda to operate fully as a coffee shop,” says owner Olivia Moore.
Then the longstanding cafe next door, Deli on Pulteney, closed earlier this month. “That was the trigger,” says Moore. “And having done the brunches, we’ve had a play around … so the turn-around has been quite quick.”
From Monday August 23, the bar will open from 7am for coffee, pastries and toasties. On the electric-blue communal table, where a line-up of wine bottles would usually stand, sits a shiny new La Marzocco that’ll pull espresso coffee by a rotating line-up of roasters.
The cafe offering follows a similar ethos to Loc’s evening menu. So expect roasters that buy beans ethically and transparently – starting with locals Coffee in Common.
“We’ll be rotating through a few smaller suppliers, all based in Australia, and who adopt an ethical approach that largely focuses on sustainability and fair pay, so the flavour profiles of our coffee beans will be changing regularly,” says Moore.
“I want to give our customers something that I love drinking and working with,” adds barista Bonnie Millar (ex-Sibling). “Coffee in Common hits the nail on the head and, honestly, they’re kind people that believe in their product. A big reason I love these guys is their commitment to a more comfortable and inclusive community in coffee.”
Millar wants to help customers navigate the coffee supply chain from farming and processing to buying, roasting and brewing. “A big thing for me is creating a comfortable space for everyone to learn and enjoy coffee,” she says. “I want people to engage with me, ask about what they’re drinking, where it comes from, and why I think they’ll enjoy it.”
The menu keeps it simple with just two types of milk – dairy by Paris Creek Farms and oat (and there’ll be no mark-up for the latter). There’ll also be Moccamaster filter coffee and teas by Tea Catcher.
The food offering is similarly succinct: Abbots and Kinney pastries (“I believe that everywhere should have a plain croissant, an almond croissant and then something a bit ‘spicy’ – an escargot or pane di chocolate or a berry thing,” says Moore) and vegetarian toasties filled with either broccoli, leek and bechamel or cheese and house-made pickles. The organic veggies will be sourced from the Central Market, as will the bread by Skala Bakery.
“With all products, I still want to consider where things are from,” says Moore. “I do eat meat, I just think, where I can, do it better.” As such, she’s pulled charcuterie from her evening menu until she can cure her own more sustainable meat. “Ideally, long term, I’d do cured kangaroo.”
The liquor license kicks in at 11am, so cafe customers can opt for a wine with brunch if they choose. “Come summer, it’s going to be a beautiful space to sit outside and have a coffee, glass of wine, snack or whatever you feel like at lunch time,” says Moore.
“It’s nice to see a space be dynamic.”
Loc’s cafe hours are 7am to 3pm Monday to Friday.