Coffee powerhouse Bellissimo transforms its old Bulimba roastery into a chic eatery and bar
Ask any flat-white fiend in Bulimba where they get their caffeinated fix from and there’s a good chance they’ll point you in the direction of Bellissimo. The award-winning coffee maker has boasted a presence in the leafy neighbourhood for years – roasting, packaging, distributing and serving lattes and long blacks from its warehouse near the river end of Oxford Street. Following on from the October opening of its Coorparoo headquarters, Bellissimo has transformed its Bulimba locale into an enticing eatery serving salmon gravlax on toasted brioche, truffle-infused scrambled eggs and fried-chicken burgers alongside cocktails, craft beer and, of course, plenty of coffee.
When Mark Bignell, Michael Koo and the Bellissimo Coffee team started plotting the next phase of the company’s evolution, their plans didn’t stop with the opening of their sizeable Coorparoo roastery, cafe, packaging and distribution hub, technical workshop, and education precinct. While the substantial undertaking has allowed the roaster to upscale its capabilities significantly, it has also afforded the team the opportunity shake things up at its other Bellissimo-branded locations, namely its Bulimba-based warehouse. For most of its existence Bellissimo’s Oxford Street outpost has been the nexus of the company’s roasting, wholesale and dispatch operations (a small espresso bar with a rustic alfresco space has also been a popular pit stop for impromptu pick-me-ups), but with the launch of the state-of-the-art headquarters just a few suburbs south, Mark, Michael and co. decided to maximise the space by transforming it into a community-minded nosh spot. Seeing a gap in the local market for more brunch, lunch and dinner options (and with neighbours Darvella Patisserie and Melrose injecting some energy into Oxford Street’s western stretch), the crew settled on an approach that harmonised its established coffee service with newfangled sit-down dining and bar components. Bellissimo Bulimba unveiled its new 90-seat look last month after a few months of renovation. A sheltered exterior dining space segues inward past the coffee counter and baked-goods cabinet to the bar, kitchen and interior eating area. Brisbane firm Alkot Studio has spearheaded the locale’s redesign, applying an aesthetic that softens the building’s industrial shell with earthy materials and elegant fixtures (think brick, timber, imported marble, leather and greenery) thereby creating a venue that feels excitingly new and comfortable to all comers.
Bellissimo’s focus on comfort and come-as-you-are convenience has been translated to its food and beverage menu, which is shaped to cater to tastes and dietary requirements of its locals and cross-city interlopers. Those that have dined at Bellissimo Coorparoo’s cafe will notice some similarities – the French toast croissant, brekkie bun, onion bhaji and cheeseburger features, as does a selection of gourmet toasties. Bellissimo Bulimba will differ with its lunch specials and forthcoming dinner service, which is set to launch in January and will reportedly feature a host of new and exciting options. A selection of baked goods (including rye, seeded and white sourdough loaves, flaky almond croissants and pasteis de nata) made daily by Bellissimo’s baker Daniel Smyth are also available. As for the drinks, while Bellissimo Bulimba doesn’t boast as comprehensive an array of brewing apparatus as its Coorparoo cousin, jolt junkies can still sip on a broad array of espresso, batch and cold-drip brews. An assortment of house iced drinks (like an espresso brekkie shake, pineapple and ginger frappe, and banana and caramel smoothie) are also available alongside boozy beverages like craft beer on tap, Aperol spritzes, bloody Marys and more.
Bellissimo Bulimba is now open to the public – stay tuned for updates on its nighttime offering early next year. Check the Stumble Guide for operating hours and contact details.
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