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The Creative Issue – News for Creatives | October 17, 2019

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Interview: Bear Bones Espresso meets Settling

Interview: Bear Bones Espresso meets Settling

| On 18, Oct 2013

Down a street, around a corner and through a garage door you’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.

Bear Bones Espresso

Image by Nikki

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, it’s a gigantic, psychedelic face.

Bear Bones Espresso

Image by Nikki

It’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.

“Because 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 it’s dark from the street, and best of all, they can smell the coffee,” Tupangaia said.

“We offer fairly simple food that’s easy to whip up, but hits the spot. The menu’s still expanding, but we’ll keep it down to a few great choices.”

Modesty at its finest. Although small, the menu is mouth-wateringly excellent. I really couldn’t use enough adjectives.

Anywhere that sells chorizo beans with toast or pulled pork sandwiches is worth checking out without hesitation.

Yet, it’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, it’s here, I’m told, that the magic happens.

“We’ve got a roasterie coming that will be down the back where we’ll have our own blend of coffee. We all love coffee and experimenting with it… We’re keen to sell that and make it right here.”

“Other than that we kind of saw this space as a place we could have bands that people could come and see. It’s sort of the perfect site for a venue. It’s a bit more private and that was one of the plans in the beginning.”

When he’s not making coffee, Kurtis Tupangaia front’s indie rock band, Settling.

“Other than our acoustic Beyonce cover, we’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 ‘hey I’m from Settling, could I grab a drink’ and the girl just stared at me. All she heard was Centrelink.”

You can find Kurtis and the crew from Bear Bones at 66 McLachlan Street, Fortitude Valley and if you’re keen to check out Settling come along to Trainspotter’s on the 17th and the Zoo on the 21st of November.