A grand dame of Melbourne coffee is now the new kid on the block in Sydney, with the opening this week of Genovese Coffee's sprawling espresso bar, cafe and roaster in Alexandria.
Genovese Coffee House slides into an early 1900s warehouse in one of Sydney's most hotly contested coffee locales.
It's a long way from humble beginnings in Melbourne's Lygon Street in 1970. And while Adam Genovese says the new state-of-the-art operation provides somewhere to showcase its coffee to Sydneysiders, Genovese has been a wholesale fixture here for years, with Gusto first cupping the brand in Bondi late last century.
"Melbourne gets written up as being one of the coffee capitals of the world," says Genovese. "I think Sydney is just as good."
The operation offers different levels of experience. You can stand at the espresso bar and have a short black or macchiato for just $2, or there's a sit-down cafe where you also grab a breakfast panini filled with spinach, egg and salted ricotta.
"When I was young and we'd go and see people, they'd pull out a panini and stuff it [with deli meats]," Genovese says of the simple menu inspiration. The new venue offers prosciutto and vegetarian versions.
While the objective is a greater share of the Sydney coffee market, Genovese says the new cafe-roastery, designed by Bondi-based firm Alexander & Co, was driven by demand: "We kept getting people saying, 'We love your brand, where do we get it?" Well, now they know.
Open daily 7am-3pm. 1 Lawrence Street, Alexandria, genovesecoffeehouse.com.au