Tuesday, January 25, 2011

All Boarded up with no place to go....

The transformation slowly begins.  The landlord's works have started to turn what is now an ugly office space into a handsome Mister Close.  I must admit - I have never built anything before except some quite excellent villages made out of lego for very small people, so this whole building process is full on.  Our tenders are due in this Friday and then our side of the build starts next week.  Our super architects Russell & George are a godsend.  Pete and I just saw all the materials that will be used to make Mister Close come alive and we are quite excited.  Mix this with bio-degradeable takeawy packaging, apron designs and material, what mini chopping board will we serve sandwhiches on, what will our website, menus and branding look like and how many cash registers do we need, you can pretty much guess what we have been doing for the last 2 days. 

A big thanks for all the support thrown our way as we get closer (pardon the pun) to Mister Close finally taking form.  The wig shop from out the front of our place is gone and now we have spanky new white boards with a little door in the middle... how very grown up.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Is it all about the coffee?

Can a cafe be as serious about their coffee as they are their food?  Well we are taking all the steps to make sure Mister Close is.  Peter K, our master of food, since taking over Arcadia, Gertrude Street came in contact with a Tasmanian boutique coffee roaster called Clique Coffee.  These guys are so passionate about their coffee is is inspiring.  Just by bringing the word 'coffee' up in coversation can have you sitting there for hours soaking in what Dane ( Head Roaster Guy and co-owner) has to say.  After tasting Clique Coffee's offering it came very apparent that we had no choice - it was fantastic.  Not only are we dedicated to supporting other small businesses, but when you come across a company that is so dedicated to the quality of their product it is a no brainer. 

We are so excited to have Clique Coffee on board and to be able to introduce Melbourne to our house blend and ever changing single origin beans that are selected from all over the world and roasted in Tasmania.  So while we have been preparing our menu for months we have not let the ball drop on our coffee.  We have two machines, 3 grinders and two Baristas on order - now we just need a cafe and hundreds of smiling, satisfied friends of Mister Close.  nom nom nom nom

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

It is all about the logo

And welcome Mister Close...the final, polished logo.  He is a little fatter than normal, but I think it is a blog thing.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

What are we all about?

Mister Close is the result of two school mates, who met in 1983.  James English (me) and Peter Knowles.   So we have known each other for 28 years and who would have thought that in 2011 we open our dream business together.  That is all about us - the rest is fairly boring... now onto our dream.  Enter Mister Close...  After honing his skills through owning the succesful Arcadia Cafe on Gertrude Street, Melbourne for over 6 years Pete was determined to expand.  Knowing it has been my lifelong dream (ever since reading Charles Forte's biography in 1989) he approached me to help him with that expansion.  Cooking is Pete's passion while kick arse customer service and satisfaction along with running a successfully growing business is mine.  Pete is focussing now on his first city venuture, while I sadly resigned from my corporate life (I loved my job, but this opportunity is too incredible) of over 15 years to run with this.  We have been planning this for over 12 months and in March we see it materialise in the shape of a brand spanking new cafe in the middle of the city called Mister Close (as in not far).

So the next two months will be building, hiring fantastic staff, finalising our ever-changing menu, developing new ways to service our customers and working hard to bring an exciting eat-in, takeaway and catering experience to central Melbourne.  Where are we?  Glad you asked...

We will be on the corner of Bourke and Swanston Streets, next to the T-life store, right inside the arcade to Midtown Plaza (above Readings and Dick Smith). 

How are we feeling? (you didn't ask this but I am going to tell you).... excited, exhilerated, petrified, inspired and we simply can't wait to show you what we have in store.  I am a mad attention to detail guy, and Pete is an incredible master of food...  Our coffee is from a small roaster in Tassie and stay tuned for the rest.