Take a dark, grungy side street garage, add an ambitious vision, top designers, a nursery full of plants and a truckload of money and you have AU79.
The latest cafe from the CCC Group, the investors who have snapped up Sir Charles, Addict Food & Coffee, Liar Liar and Prospect Espresso, has been built on a jaw-dropping scale. The name, a combination of the symbol and atomic number for gold, gives a hint about the ambition shown here.
The white and eau de nil colour scheme, ample natural light and lush greenery will create a soothing backdrop when the cafe hits capacity – there is seating for 200 in a series of rooms, including a large event space at the back that is partially open to the elements.
AU79 will be as much about caffeinating as entertainment when it opens on April 21 – there is an in-house coffee roastery, self-contained bakery and a retail space, plus stations equipped with custom-built Black Eagle espresso machines at either end of the room.
The kitchen, led by Stephen Hogan (ex Sir Charles and St Ali), will serve up a contemporary daytime menu bristling with smart ideas that go well beyond bacon and eggs –witness okonomiyaki pancake with eggplant katsu and herbed daikon salad or Belgian waffle balls with passionfruit cream and pandan ice-cream.
And former Rustica head baker Isaac Kane will pull loaves of bread and specialty pastries, including eclairs infused with AU79 coffee, from the dedicated pastry ovens.
Open daily 7am-4pm.
27-29 Nicholson Street, Abbotsford, AU79coffee.co