Mathew Evan’s article on “Tin Pot Cafe” yesterday was correct when he described the Tin Pot as a fun place, but he failed to explain why so many of us have become regulars there. After reading yesterday’s review, readers of Epicure may be interested in reading a review from a regular.
Each day, I left my computer to cycle down Brunswick, Smith and Rathdowne Streets in search of caffeine. It was not only a break from my never-ending thesis, it was the first time in my life I had found time for the luxury of coffee-shop-crawling.
During my travels, I stumbled across a cafe with a difference. Unlike the trendiness and solemnity that has invaded many cafes in the inner city, the Tin Pot Cafe is different. Let me try to explain why.
The food’s nice (breakfast is the best!), the coffee’s good and the hot chocolate (with three marshmallows) must be close to the best around. But, that’s not it.
The decor’s kind of funky, the open fire’s warm and cosy, the music’s quite groovy (especially when Isabelle plays Cat Stevens) and the huge table in the new room invites banter among strangers. But that’s not it either.
What makes the Tin Pot Cafe special is its warmth. When I first walked in, I immediately felt welcomed. Today, I saw Dizzie and Esther laughing while they danced around the coffee machine. God forbid, they were enjoying themselves at work! When the staff are happy, they bring pleasure to the tables they serve.
The first time I had dinner at the Tin Pot, Emma sat down at our table to take our order. It was a lovely gesture that impressed my friend enormously. Two minutes later, Georgie returned to explain that there was no veal on the menu. Alan realised that he had ordered a meal from a menu in the window a few doors down! Georgie laughed, we all laughed. The following week, Alan ordered “the same as last week”. Georgie replied, “you want the veal from down the road?”
One night, we shared a table with a couple who had brought the cryptic crossword along. In between sharing stories about life as a tap dancer, ecologist, mechanic and nurse, we finished the crossword (and a few bottles of wine).
Like many other uni students living around Fitzroy and Northcote, I have found a home away from study at the Tin Pot Cafe. When Dizzie brought me a cafe latte without me even ordering, I felt like I had become a “regular”.
Now that the never-ending thesis has nearly ended, I offer my thanks to the staff at the Tin Pot Cafe for making these last few months both bearable and memorable. I would like to give them a huge tip, but I’ve spent my entire scholarship on coffee and Tracey’s cakes.