For the Fitzroy and Collingwood crowds, Burnside has long been a staple for supreme coffee and snatch-and-grab sangas. But now the team is hoping it can bring the same cafe cachet to its new spot, Midi, in Richmond.
“We had a cafe over here a few years ago, so we’re familiar with the area,” says co-owner Chris Handley. “Through that shop, I met the developer who did this building. It was an easy entree back.”
On the ground floor of a commercial building behind Richmond station, Midi is far more obscured than its sibling (smack bang on the corner of Smith and Gertrude Streets). If it weren’t for the white signage jutting out of its concrete exterior, you could easily miss it.
The interior, on the other hand, is simple but striking – designed by now Melbourne-based firm Sans-Arc Studio. Through a floor-to-ceiling glass sliding door is a dark wooden counter carved from a single piece of Tasmanian oak. Scattered around it are a handful of benches and small patterned tables, adding warmth to the otherwise stark industrial space.
“Being sort of austere, we needed someone who could really understand lighting, furniture, even movement to a degree,” Handley says of the design. “[It’s] mainly function over form, but it’s come out looking pretty good.”
Like Burnside, Midi serves Seven Seeds espresso, as well as cold brew, alongside a fast-casual sandwich menu. There’s a herby roasted-chicken number; sopressa with spicy roasted fennel and ricotta; and pastrami with giardiniera, provolone and mustardy mayo. As far as all-veg options go, find a classic salad sanga and a vegan option with fried cauliflower and toasted almonds.
A few bagels are also on rotation, including the team’s love-it-or-hate-it staple: peanut butter and pickle. “We eat it at Burnside,” says Handley. “That’s what I have for breakfast every day.” Also expect soup and salad specials, which will change with the seasons.
45 Wangaratta Street, Richmond
Mon to Fri 7am–3pm