12 March

So what’s the update on the Cat Café?

Cat caféCats and the internets. Best of friends, forever

London’s first café is now open. Portland in the US is about to get all feline friendly too. And here in Melbourne, we’re awaiting the opening of our own cat café with white-knuckled anticipation.

If this is the first you’ve heard of it, allow us to explain: it’s a café, with cats. You pet them and drink tea. And soon, Melbourne couple Anita and Myles Loughran will be opening one. But where are we at now? How long must we wait for our cats and coffees and the joy that they’ll bring for ever and ever?

Not long, apparently. For the past few months, the Loughrans have been raising money through crowd funding campaigns on indiegogo.com, and now that they’re done with their second campaign, it’s go time.

According to Anita, the physical site applications are in (they’ve applied for a few spots, all in the CBD) and the council has given them a big cat-loving thumbs up.

We’ve got a few months to go – all of the building and cat selecting is still ahead – but it is definitely a happening thing. In the meantime, this:

For the gentlemen

Also, this:

Read more

7 March

Get ready for a Jafflechute frenzy

Posted in Food & Drink

Let it rain!

We interrupt this week of Food and Wine Festival-focused mayhem to alert you to an even bigger food-based happening. This afternoon, the folks from Jafflechutes will be taking their sandwich orders from 3pm for a scheduled drop date of Sunday. If you’re late on that cursor, you’ll have a snowball’s chance in hell of having a sandwich fall from the sky with your name on it, so get ready to get someone to cover you while you do it during work time.

Fire it up!

Place your orders.Read more

6 March

Fred Siggins wins Australia’s Bacardi Legacy Cocktail Competition

Posted in Food & Drink

Melbourne bartender Fred Siggins (Black Pearl) is on his way to Russia thanks to his winning cocktail, the Empire of Dreams. Thirty-two-year-old Siggins impressed the panel of judges with his coffee-flavoured daiquiri at the site of Sydney’s very own rum hospital the Mint on Tuesday March 4.

His winning combination of Bacardi Superior rum, pineapple and lime, apricot brandy and Orgeat syrup shaken with espresso beans – “organic and fair trade,” said Siggins in a cheeky reference to its Fitzroy origins – made Siggins Australia’s first ever Bacardi Legacy Cocktail winner. And the barman will go on to represent Australia at the international final in Moscow on May 8.

Competitors were given ten minutes to tell the story behind their creation, share the success of their individual marketing campaigns and to prepare their drink for the panel of judges – including Mark “Dr Rum” Wyatt (from Rum Bar, Airlie Beach), former contestant Hayden Lambert (head barman at Melbourne’s Bar Americano) and Simon Difford, of Diffordsguide Cocktails fame.

Difford, who flew in from the UK to judge on the night, said the winning cocktail should be “a true legacy cocktail… one that tastes great and is easily replicated by both bartenders and consumers around the world.” The drink had to satisfy judges that it could become a future classic and sit alongside mixes like the mojito or Cuba Libre.… Read more

26 February

Jafflechutes need your roof, love

Let it rain!

Calling all flying jaffle fans! It’s been brought to our attention that the good folks behind parachute-delivered sandwich outfit Jafflechutes are seeking a new CBD space from which to launch their next lot of toasted delights. Can you help? We hope so. Do it for all of us. See below their Facebook plea:

” Jafflechutarians!

We’re on the lookout for some new jafflechuting spots around Melbourne CBD, and we were wondering if you might be able to lend a hand.

Our requirements are pretty basic.. We need:

- A balcony or rooftop space about five storeys high
- A spot that’s mostly out of the way (laneways are *good*)
- No tram lines / evil trees / ungodly winds
- Some electricity
- Nice music

If you know of such a place and would be happy for us to fill it with cheesy craziness for an hour or two, please send us a message!”

Check out the original post.… Read more

24 February

Quiz: which played out Australian dining trend are YOU?

andrewpstreet-482x100

Dear the Internet,

Australians love democracy on Facebook. And it’s fair enough too, since we don’t really get any of it in our political lives. That’s the only possible explanation for the ubiquity of quizzes asking which Game of Thrones character, which Star Wars villain and/or which intestinal parasite we are (I got E. histolytica! That’s the coolest one!).

And thus, in a shameless attempt to chase that web-savvy demographic of people with too much time on their hands, I’ve constructed this questionnaire to determine which hackneyed, over-played, downright irritating food trend most represents you, the discerning quizthusiast.

Pick yer answers, calculate yer scores, and learn your special personal truth. It’s not just fun – it’s SCIENCE!

In an ideal world, life should be…
a. indistinguishable from anyone else’s (4)
b. briefly pleasant, but then full of shame (10)
c. pointlessly complicated and dangerous (8)
d. socially responsible, yet disgusting (6)

When you think of the improvisational powers of MacGyver, you think…
a. “That would never actually work.” (2)
b. “Yeah! Whoo! Anything can be used for anything!” (3)
c. “What is going on with his hair?” (1)
d. “What’s a MacGuyver?” (0)

Your favourite design aesthetic could be best described as…
a.… Read more

19 February

Brunswick Music Festival launches its 2014 program

Brunswick Music Festival pic

As any smug Brunswick resident will tell you, there are endless reasons to get on the number 19 tram and roll down Sydney Road. There’s Dejour Jeans, outrageous wedding dress shops, endless Bonsoy lattes, and of course, all kinds of live music that streams from the well-loved pubs and clubs that beckon from almost every street corner.

And then there’s the Brunswick Music Festival. Coming into its 26th year, the festival is in the hands of a new team of directors, who kicked things off with a media launch this morning at the Brunswick Town Hall.

“We’re new to organising the festival but not new to partying at it,” says organiser Natalie Lidgerwood. “I just wish I’d paid more attention…instead of dancing in the streets!” Judging from the musical offerings this year, we’re pretty confident that the team will have no problem getting punters booking tickets.

“These artists represent our diverse community,” says City of Moreland mayor Lambros Tapinos. In less than an hour, we’re treated to the smooth baritone of Mikelangelo who’ll be performing with a 50-piece choir, and the spirited Italian folk of Kavisha Mazzella which she will perform as part of La Sagra Della Musica.… Read more

7 February

The Workers Club is a changin’

Posted in Food & Drink, News

Workers

Change, friends, is inevitable. And over the past two weeks, Fitzroy institution the Workers Club has been quietly going through a few.

Now before you panic, hear this: Monday nights at the Workers’ Club will remain a wonderland of cheap dranks. There will even be the added bonus of cheeseburgers from 10pm. Free cheeseburgers. Sounds good, yeah? Well, the good news doesn’t stop there. Twerkshop, the Ghetto Zumba workshop set to make you sweat, is sticking around too.

So aside from fattening us up with free burgers, what is actually changing?

Well, after years of hosting great musical talent before they hit the big time (Tame Impala and Lorde to drop a few names), the Workers Club is now fortifying that reputation, bringing on a new booking team to ensure they move onwards and upwards.

Enter Indra Adams, a Melbourne music mogul with over a decade of experience booking talent for venues like the Espy and Ding Dong lounge as well as being the founding director of his own agency, Singhala Music. Alongside Adams stand Rachel Marzorini, who will be assisting with administration, and Rose Callaghan: Twitter extraordinaire and social media boss.

Sometimes change can be kind of uncomfortable. But we’re thinking that with a new booking team dedicated to continuing to build and strengthen the Workers’ connection to local musicians (and with all the other things we love sticking around), this is a well-executed leap in the right direction.… Read more

6 February

Offspring is turning Bala’s into a temporary Mexican restaurant

OffspringThe good old days, before anybody died.

If you’ve strolled along Brunswick Street lately and wondered what oh what will become of the now defunct Bala’s Food Source, we can tell you that it’s about to become a Mexican restaurant. Which probably won’t surprise you. What will surprise you is that you won’t ever be able to eat there.  The crew behind OffspringMelbourne’s hit adventures-in-neurosis TV drama,  have commandeered the space and are currently turning it into a faux cantina for a shoot next week. After that, the real new leaseholder will be moving in and starting up a traditional Italian trattoria. Fun fact.… Read more

5 February

Stokehouse pop-up opens next Friday

Posted in Food & Drink

Up she goes! Pictured: City of Port Phillip Mayor Amanda Stevens with Van Haandel Group's Anthony Musarra, and Stokehouse crewUp she goes! Pictured: City of Port Phillip Mayor Amanda Stevens with Van Haandel Group’s Anthony Musarra, and Stokehouse crew

It feels like mere seconds since St Kilda’s seaside restaurant Stokehouse was lost to fire. But, proving that you can’t keep a good man or restaurant down, Frank Van Haandel has announced that they will be opening a temporary pop-up eatery on the site next Friday.

According to the team, the pop-up will run from February 14 (romantic!) to May 11, and will be serving a selection of both the restaurant and café’s trademark dishes, as well as running a bar.

It’s pretty impressive. You can even make a booking, but walk-ins are welcome. And while we’re on the subject of entering the temporary premises, you’ll be pleased to know that there will be walls. The structure is being built by Harry the Hirer – it’s essentially a giant reinforced marquee situation replete with glass walls. Comme Catering (part of the Van Haandel empire)  will be providing the mobile kitchen. It will be close to business-as-usual before you know it.… Read more

31 January

Brolly Splash: Flipboard Café’s pool is back!

Brolly Splash

Holy refreshment! The good folks at Melbourne’s favourite cubby-house/café Flipboard have brought back their makeshift pool. If you missed the first one and not sure what this is all about, they rigged up a nifty public pool using plastic and a skip. It’s genius, and it’s free to use for one and all. Go cool your heels.

Brolly Splash, Flipboard Café, Sat 1 Feb, 11am-6pmRead more