Melbourne is a city of many surprises, with some of the best shops, restaurants, and coffee shops taking either a bit of know-how or dumb luck to find. The allure and mystery of Melbourne’s CBD (Central Business District) is bolstered by the rich laneway culture, where, when you wander down nearly any laneway off a main street, you have a very high chance of stumbling upon a rich tapestry of retail traders and delicious things.
One of the most prolific laneways of this kind is Crossley Street; a lovely stretch happily nestled between Bourke St and Little Bourke St, past the colourful Chinatown and on the way to Parliament House. Crossley Street is home to many well-respected and long-standing businesses, including Von Haus (delectable wine bar), Blond Venus (home of beautiful boutique and local fashion), and the legendary Pellegrini’s (an Italian stalwart famous for its huge dishes of pasta, and, in summer, refreshing granitas).
The latest addition to this impressive street is Traveller (located at Shop 2, 14 Crossley St), a new venture by the venerable Seven Seeds team, spearheaded by Bridget Amor and Mark Dundon. Dundon and Amor are no strangers to the hospitality game, whose repertoire includes Brother Baba Budan, De Clieu (which has since been sold), and Seven Seeds.
The conception of Traveller was sparked mainly by the availability of the spot the location and history of Crossley Street, which is, as Amor outlined when we spoke, “One of, if not the best laneways in Melbourne, with much history behind it. In the 1860s it was known as ‘the den of prostitutes and thieves’, transitioning to cabinet makers and craftsmen by the 1900s. Today there still remains an obvious homage to artisan style crafts with many tailors and jewelers operating from Crossley Street.”
The space for Traveller is petite, highly functional, and very inviting. Walking in the door from Crossley street, you’re immediately hit with the warmth of the light wood, the velvety-looking red benches, and the streamlined espresso bar. There are no seats, and the space is oriented around the takeaway coffee, with a little window looking out onto the street and a cosy ledge for city-workers to pick up their coffees from.
There’s a small selection of coffee accompaniments on offer, with pastries from Brioche by Philip, and caneles by Gracious and Delicious. Espressos are pulled on a La Marzocco Strada, with filter coffee being brewed through V60s and Aeropress out the back, and batch brew being served in the near future.
The goal of this space is to bring back the humble joy of serving delicious coffees and to relish the simple pleasure that a great cup of takeaway coffee can give.
Traveller is open Monday-Friday 7AM-5PM and weekends 8AM-5PM and located at Shop 2, 14 Crossley St.
Eileen P. Kenny (@EileenPK) is a staff writer for Sprudge.com, based in Melbourne. She is the publisher of Birds of Unusual Vitality, specialty coffee’s premiere interview web magazine, and a working barista at Market Lane Coffee.
More gorgeous photos from Traveller, shot by Eileen Kenny, are available here on Sprudge.com’s Facebook.