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Kettle Black by Studio You Me

Kettle Black by Studio You Me


All images courtesy of Studio You Me.

From last year’s Eat-Drink-Design Best Café Design award-winners comes South Melbourne’s latest café opening, the subtly stylish Kettle Black.


The café nestles within the last Heritage-listed 1880s Victorian terrace house on Albert Road, and spills out into the ground floor of new apartment building Fifty Albert by Elenberg Fraser in a white cascading parametric wave.

The café is jointly owned by Nathan Toleman, Tim James, Diamond Rozakeas, Sam King and Jesse McTavish, the team behind some of Melbourne’s best cafés, like Top Paddock and Three Bags Full.


Kettle Black owes its modern and timeless design to Kestie Lane and Hana Hakim of Studio You Me in South Yarra, whose two-year-old studio has recently completed the beautiful Artedomus Showroom in Richmond.


The café brings the fine-dining experience to daily brunch, combining Nordic cool with a touch of opulence in green and gold detailing. Old and new styles merge seamlessly via brass, marble and birch. Green ceramic tiles are contrasted with honed white marble Barista bench tops, while on the wall sits a spectacular circular lightbox made of brass and wire. The floor is terrazzo concrete, populated with elegant hexagonal marble tiles.


The unique blend of materials gives the café a relaxed atmosphere. Seating up to 70, the café can accommodate a wide range of social groupings and moods, thanks to the thoughtful placement of furniture that breaks the space into smaller intimate areas. A particularly striking choice is the pale green Doll chair by Café Culture+Insitu, which seems to pick up the colour of the hanging rhipsalis plants.


The café features a handcrafted menu by McTavish, featuring a variety of locally sourced produce, from King Island Crayfish to Flinders Island Wallaby, and Steak from Ribbins Island.  The space and service certainly complement the authentic food that is on offer, and this venture is a timely and exciting addition to Melbourne’s burgeoning café scene.


Check out more of Studio You Me’s work featured on ADR. 

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