Drawing inspiration from America’s East Coast, a Tokyo cafe in an urban living room and, of course, Melbourne’s unparalleled cafe culture, Matt Ward opened Eastside late last year. Matt is one half of the powerhouse team behind venues like Holla Food and Drink, Prospect Espresso, Townhouse and Mr. Brownstone, so you can be pretty sure that Eastside will be a big hit.
Eastside is stripping it back to basics and serving coffee and sandwiches only. However, these sandwiches aren’t standard ham, cheese and tomato combos on Wonder White, and the coffee is not to be messed with either. Sourcing free-range meats from Meatsmith, Matt and his team are using these prime cuts in their reworked versions of the classics. The menu features a Cubano filled with bourbon brined pork and chipotle mayo, smoked chicken, slaw and Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce on Rustica pumpkin bread and an NYC style Rueben.
When it comes to the coffee, Matt is putting his heart and soul into the process. Having recently launched his own roastery, These Days Coffee Roasting, with his business partner Phil Gijisbers, he is able to oversee the entire process from bean to cup.
Eager to take a minimalist approach to the design, Matt has worked with architects/designers Alix Smith and Tim Brookes. The result is a quaint CBD cafe clad in natural plywood and timber. A pink feature wall instantly catches your eye and is balanced perfectly with a smattering of greenery and a white powder coated La Marzocco Linea PB.