Interview: Bear Bones Espresso meets Settling
Nikki Keating | On 18, Oct 2013
Down a street, around a corner and through a garage door youâ€™ll find a new espresso bar in the heart of Fortitude Valley.
Bear Bones Espresso is the latest addition to the collection of perfectly unusual bars, owned by Azza Boardman. Tucked into an industrial area, Bear Bones is as convenient as it is interesting.
I stepped through into the espresso bar and was met with a welcome sight, an espresso machine is situated in the centre of the room.
Around it, tables and chairs decorate the floor with colours and images as bold as those on the walls. Graffiti art, hanging frames, pot plants and lamp fixtures add to the atmosphere of the room.
It was impossible not to suddenly feel calm and completely chilled out. I wandered over to the counter and noticed a large mural on the back wall.
It was kind of hard not to, itâ€™s a gigantic, psychedelic face.
Itâ€™s also incredible.
Manager, Kurtis Tupangaia, smashed out two coffees with ease as I lent against the counter. An easy smile and fast hands, Tupangaia explained to me the beauty of having a joint to go to when you need a coffee fix or feed.
â€œBecause of where we are, with all of the businesses around, most of our customers are people wandering around on their lunch break or taking a walk. They can hear the music coming from inside, although itâ€™s dark from the street, and best of all, they can smell the coffee,â€ Tupangaia said.
â€œWe offer fairly simple food thatâ€™s easy to whip up, but hits the spot. The menuâ€™s still expanding, but weâ€™ll keep it down to a few great choices.â€
Modesty at its finest. Although small, the menu is mouth-wateringly excellent. I really couldnâ€™t use enough adjectives.
Anywhere that sells chorizo beans with toast or pulled pork sandwiches is worth checking out without hesitation.
Yet, itâ€™s the vibe from the room that makes Bear Bones really different.
Situated on Mclachlan Street, the espresso bar takes up a long and narrow section of what is probably closer to a garage than a warehouse.
Opening up towards the back of the room, itâ€™s here, Iâ€™m told, that the magic happens.
â€œWeâ€™ve got a roasterie coming that will be down the back where weâ€™ll have our own blend of coffee. We all love coffee and experimenting with itâ€¦ Weâ€™re keen to sell that and make it right here.â€
â€œOther than that we kind of saw this space as a place we could have bands that people could come and see. Itâ€™s sort of the perfect site for a venue. Itâ€™s a bit more private and that was one of the plans in the beginning.â€
When heâ€™s not making coffee, Kurtis Tupangaia frontâ€™s indie rock band, Settling.
â€œOther than our acoustic Beyonce cover, weâ€™re probably most renowned for the fact our name sounds like Centrelink. We had a gig at Black Bear Lodge recently and afterwards I went up to the bar and said â€˜hey Iâ€™m from Settling, could I grab a drinkâ€™ and the girl just stared at me. All she heard was Centrelink.â€
You can find Kurtis and the crew from Bear Bones at 66 McLachlan Street, Fortitude Valley and if youâ€™re keen to check out Settling come along to Trainspotterâ€™s on the 17th and the Zoo on the 21st of November.