The boys behind Sloane Ranger in Cremorne, Remy in Kew East and just-sold Bawa in Hawthorn have a new project. Northcote cafe Bicycle Thieves is named after a 1948 film in which an unemployed man has his bike stolen in Rome. It's a tribute to Northcote's Italian heritage.
Bold text on takeaway cups reading "STOLEN FROM BICYCLE THIEVES" both tells the story and tempts Instagrammers.
In an apartment block between Welcome to Thornbury and Separation Street, Chris Griffiths and Shri Bhagwanda's newest venue also caters to brunch-goers hungry for more than the basics.
Although it only opened on October 20, Griffiths says some favourites have already emerged. The breakfast ramen – or as he calls it, "eggs and bacon on toast in soup form" – is already gaining a following, as are sweet potato and kimchi fritters with poached eggs and slow-braised pork.
The kitchen makes everything from scratch, including butter (churned daily) for the house crumpets and hazelnut chocolate spread that appears in a jaffle with baked banana, mascarpone and hazelnuts.
With 90 seats inside and room for 18 more on the corner of Beavers Road and High Street, there are spots for groups of all sizes, including raised tables for one that emulate the Italian method of drinking coffee at a bar.
Pierce Widera has designed a space with all the hallmarks of on-trend minimalism: polished concrete floors, wooden and brass finishes and modern light fixtures.
A liquor licence is within reach but until then order a "black tonic" with a Dukes Coffee Roasters espresso shot, lime and tonic water.
Open Mon-Fri 7am-4pm, Sat-Sun 8am-4pm.
449 High Street, Northcote, 03 9482 1701, bicyclethievescafe.com.au