John Gorilla is my own personal experience of how a cafe can change a Neighbourhood. I live just around the corner and for many years have passed these old shops on my walks, wondering who would take them on and what would they bring to us.
Many, many months ago I saw the words ‘John Gorilla is Coming’ spray painted on the window. I pondered while walking if this could be related to clothing, skaters wear, graphic design or a cafe?
Then out of the blue I see The Age article about John Gorilla cafe looking for community financial support via Pozible to get over the grand opening line. I happily entered in my credit card details for 50 smackers on the promise of $60 worth of food at some point in the future. Then I watched and waited and counted down the days until opening as I now felt even more engaged with this being.
I was disappointed that my work committments didn’t allow me to visit until the third day after opening. But when I rocked around the corner at 10.30am I was shocked to see the streets around full of parked cars and lots of prams. The place was packed, lively and welcoming.
So often Chai is not a priority for cafes when they first open, not the case here thankfully. My Chai arrived inside a 1981 cup celebrating Charles and Diana’s marriage and brought a smile to my face. Full bodied flavor in this Chai, it’s not for the faint hearted. Chai had a great head of froth and not too sweet.
Poached eggs, bacon and sourdough toast were solidly splendid. There was no scrimping on the crispy bacon either.
There was a definite feeling that what’s happening here is more than just a cafe plonking itself in a place screaming out I’m ready for gentrification! A genuine desire to connect with the local community, it’s people and existing businesses appeared obvious to me.
John Gorilla : 49 Pearson Street, Brunswick West