Bunsen, the Arts Centre’s newest cafe, has opened in the former Le Cafe premises on Worcester Boulevard, complete with a fresh new menu for the kids.
Owner Hamish Evans is the man behind Switch Espresso and Black Betty and he says Bunsen patrons get a taste of history while exploring new features. For example, the area previously used as the kitchen is now a public space, with new mezzanine, double-height ceiling and toilets.
“We have some amazing equipment plus gorgeous furniture that tells the story of this space as a former classroom for teaching science.”
The Clock Tower building where Bunsen is located was historically used for chemistry and science and the café’s menu and decor draws on and celebrates this history.
Bunsen takes up the ground floor and flows outside to a seating area on Worcester Boulevard – just as its predecessor Le Cafe did. Hamish has tracked down the original Le Cafe outdoor furniture, restored and reinstated it.
“It’s beautifully painted but still has the original slats so tells the story of its history and journey. After the earthquakes, the furniture was removed from site and been stored in a paddock in Marshlands. I’m so happy to be able to bring it back to its rightful home here at the Arts Centre – it’s another great connection for people.”
Restoration of the 1877 Gothic Revival building has given it a new lease of life while retaining its beautiful heritage features – including the well-known mezzanine dining area and distinctive ceiling. Bunsen’s design builds on this history, with its blend of shabby chic meets chemistry den – creating a space that, with a modern twist, builds on the character of a classic chemistry lab.
“Our contractors Elite Shopfitting and Construction have helped on all of my businesses and do an amazing job. They kept me involved but foresaw issues and found solutions that made the whole process smooth.”
The Chemistry theme flavours the menu, along with a few nods to previous long-standing and well-known tenant Le Café.
Where: Clock Tower, 2 Worcester Boulevard
Winter opening hours:
Mon to Thursday: 8am to 4pm
Friday: 7.30am to 5pm
Saturday & Sunday: 9am to 4pm