The coffee hasn't suffered but IMHO it beats anything else for miles around- and I've been everywhere. Anton is pretty consistent, I agree with Slate that if one isn't spot-on the next will be. Anton's sister can pull an excellent latte too. The pastries are home-made by mum, she's been doing this for decades and does some fine exotics you won't find anywhere else. The more different ones you try the more you grow to love them and along with the fine coffee and atmosphere the place will have you coming back every time. I can't avoid it when I am anywhere near, of course I miss the old place but the transition has been great with so much more food- oh yes, ask for a real Italian sandwich and you'll get one that'll knock your socks off. I took several clients out back for a 2-hour lunch meeting recently, and every part of it was nothing short of excellent.
Northern Italian Era: I was there before it opened, and bought beans from them, which they roasted (quite brilliantly) as the first owner (Northern Italian) was a refined gentleman with amazing taste in everything from the fit-out, through to his roasting apparatus, and even dressed well. The guy had real roasting talent. He enjoyed a successful roasting business doing 50 x $500 transactions per week, which gave him supreme confidence that everything he touched would turn to gold. It didn't. To then transition into the pressure-cooker of building a fast-paced brand new cafe, and the added bonus of needing to repay a wildly overpriced custom fit-out with potentially 75 transactions per day at an average of around $5 a pop transmogrified our lovely roaster into a fire-breathing tyrant, manic-depressive-eating psycho. On a good day. On the others he gravitated into a nut-job of inane magnitude. He would yell at customers, and his wife was going to leave him, so I'm glad for his sake, refined man sold his Refinery to Southern Italian dude. Southern Italian Era (present era): Dude paid too much for his cafe, probably because original owner was as talented at roasting "the books" as his beans. But that's just hearsay. And probably true. New dude is an bona fide barista, works hard and focuses all his Calabrese (Calabrian) angst into rather brilliant coffee. He's a passionate person, works great under pressure like a good Italian Espresso machine. He's built for it. Can make anything, with good consistency. If he doesn't make the coffee there can be variances. But go there, he needs the money and he'll treat you well. His dad or grandfather helps out, a bit of a charmer who can make a sandwich feel like Italy (and sometimes cost like Italy). But it's worth trying the things they make themselves. Everything else is a bit pedestrian. Feels a bit old-skool, in a good way. Even if the next coffee I get there isn't perfect, I know the next time it will be.
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