Sometimes I like new things – other times they all seem a little too good to be true. New venues open every day of the week as other close, all because they forget the basics.
Glovers Station in Elsternwick is a new thing, and they have the basics absolutely, positively right. A warm sincere greeting, coffee that is bloody good, quick and delicious. Water is topped up and comes from a central watering station built in to the wall and serves as a sensible divider for the wall of banquettes that line the edge of the interior. The staff know what they are doing, and they do it very well.
All the more impressive is that this is day one. The doors opened this morning and the place is popping… From the people that changed the Bentleigh main drag with Little Tommy Tucker, this is surely going to be a hit in this part of town. The room is busy, as are the team. Jim Marinis and Mary Jane Daffy are greeting friends and new customers alike with the same warmth and genuine enthusiasm for being here.
The fit out of this space is great and suits the style of the business model – open, bright and airy. White tiled walls surround banquettes with modern, stylish and practical tables and chairs, all dotted around a large central service and coffee space.
The open kitchen will hide no sins, although none are expected. Chef Brett Hobbs, who joined Marinis and Daffy to open Little Tommy Tucker, leads a small kitchen team. He has good chops – formerly of The Millswyn, Woods of Windsor and Morris Jones.
The venue is very much of its geography. Monday lunchtime and I have spotted hipster beards, a twin set and pearls, smart young things who are at ease in the autumn sun in the outdoor dining space, matrons and mums, regular Joe’s and Jolene’s – it seems everyone wants to be a part of day one at Glovers Station.
Marinis on the floor is like the Everready bunny, as always. Buzzing and bouncing across the floor, inside and outside, upstairs in the mezzanine dining space and down, he seems unable to stop. I am not sure if Jim is a control freak or more like a kid in a candy store who wants to try everything – I think its the latter only because businesses are rarely successful when control freaks are allowed to run free.
Back to the basics… its easy to trick up food to be more fancy, but quite often, the simpler items play second fiddle. The food is organic, in season and free range where possible. A veggie patch at the back of the cafe supplies herbs and leaves. My simple brunch is faultless and its a testament to the ability to do all things well.
Flatware and silverware is not overdone – nothing in the venue looks like they have tried too hard which is always a good thing. Its tough coming in on day one where hiccups are to be expected, but it has been seamless. Its simple, but oh so very smart.
This place will do well – the commentary on tables either side hint that it will suit young mums dropping off at the child care centre across Glen Eira Rd, as well as the lunch set, and those with more time on their hands.
As long as the basics remain done well, Glovers Station will flourish.