After a decade in Hardware Street, Hardware Societe has moved to larger premises. "We've known for a long time that we needed a bigger space – something that was more functional," says co-owner Di Keser. "We stumbled across the Katherine Place site and went, 'OK, let's do it!'"
Di and husband Will picked the February 27 opening date for personal reasons: "That day marked 27 years since Will and I started dating," says Di.
Over that time, the couple has opened two Hardware Societe locations, at 120 and 123 Hardware Street. They've moved (with their dogs) from Melbourne to France, where they divide their time between Paris and Normandy. They've opened a Hardware Societe in Paris. They've published their first cookbook, No Eggs on Toast (written by Good Food contributor Michael Harden), and, finally, they've relocated Hardware Societe from 120 Hardware Street to Katherine Place.
The site's former occupants, Archie Green, left the space in good condition, so the changes made by Will and Di are mostly aesthetic. The opening coincides with the cookbook launch and the cafe's green and salmon pink hues reflect the book's design. There's also a custom peach-coloured Slayer espresso machine, and the teacup wall has made the move across.
The menu is a list of classic hits from the past decade, plus a few new dishes ("more space means an upsized menu," says Di). Baked eggs with chorizo and potato are still on, as is lobster benedict and croque madame, but now there's a breakfast vanilla and lavender bavarois, and oysters served alongside brunch cocktails.
On Fridays, the cafe will stay open until late for after-work festivities. Snacks such as jamon and manchego croquetas and savoury choux will be available, and for drinks there are eight wine taps (illustrations of the couple's dogs feature on the front of each) plus beer and spritz.
The Kesers will retain the premises at 123 Hardware Street, where it will be business as usual.
Open Mon-Thu 7.30am–3pm; Fri 7.30am-10.30pm; Sat-Sun & public holidays 8am-3pm
10 Katherine Place, Melbourne, 03 9621 2100