One night, after a few too many wines, Tom Petty was joking around with his mate Alex Whyte about opening a place that sold cheese, and only cheese.
Fast forward a couple of years and Tom meets his French partner, Noemie Lacoste. The business venture is still a dream and Noemie is inspired by their passion and drive to make it a reality. She leaves her day job to join in the journey. After all, who knows cheese better than the French?
Shifty Chevre is the result, a warmly lit and bustling café and bar occupying the corner of Rose and Brunswick Streets in Fitzroy.
After securing their ideal spot, it was fit out in just three weeks. Tom’s background in architecture and construction allowed him to create a multi-functional space that can shift to suit any occasion. A fully stocked bookshelf and mismatched couches compliment the recycled wood flooring and caged lightbulbs. Customers are even encouraged to take a book home and return it after they’ve read it. The result: it really does feel like an extension of your own living room.
The Shifty Chevre philosophy is simple: they want everyone to embrace and enjoy the cheese-eating experience, whether you’re a connoisseur or just enjoy sampling the various flavours. Cheese shouldn’t be pretentious; it’s a food that brings people together.
Cafe by day and cheese bar by night, this homely space offers so much more than a delicious selection of cheese. The French-inspired menu showcases a selection of cheese platters alongside a delectable choice of main meals, available for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Breakfast choices include the popular crispy grilled halloumi with avocado and smoked Atlantic salmon, and the Welsh Rarebit – Rustica sourdough with grilled mozzarella, mushrooms, leeks and chilli jam.
When it comes to dinner, the wheel of French Camembert roasted with rosemary and extra virgin olive oil, served with green salad and warmed sourdough, is a standout choice. If you’re with a group don’t go past the raclette – melt your own cheese on the table’s hotplate and pour it over potatoes, cornichons, prosciutto and French salami for an indulgent feast.
Having recently secured its liquor license, Shifty Chevre is finally able to provide the complete experience – a delicious cheese platter with a glass of wine. The drinks list features local wines as well as drops from Italy, New Zealand and, of course, France. There is also a stocked spirit shelf and beer and cider on offer.
They also assemble a variety of takeaway cheese packs that are perfect for a picnic, double dates and group events. The team has recently started delving into private functions too.
Winter’s coming and there’s no better place to spend a cold night than settled on one of Shifty Chevre’s couches with a couple of friends, a cheese platter and a great bottle of wine. But we’d get in quick – with a growing following, getting a seat might be the hardest part of the night.