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Little Henri - Espresso Melbourne

Cafe: Little Henri - Thornbury


Little Henri Cafe Thornbury View Gallery View Map View Facts
Opening Hours:
Monday to Friday 8am – 4pm;
Saturday and Sunday 8:30am to 4pm
Allpress (mixed bean)

Money – whether the root of all evil or the reason to live, fascinates us all. Cheque-ing out Little Henri was a chance to ponder the almighty buck. Perched on a corner block and standing out with its white paint, the café is as obvious as a newly minted dollar in the sunlight. A silhouette of Little Henri beckons you with interest into the building, which was a bank in its previous incarnation (if you haven’t already gathered by my subtle hints).

First appraisal was good – it was an intense summer’s day and the relief from the air-conditioning was instant in the large, airy space. Running the length of a wall an antique inspired, soft brown leather couch stretched, inviting one to sink into its depths. Shiny as a banker’s bald head, hub caps serve as wall art. Large green enamel lamps dangle over the counter whilst single bulbs suspend from the vaulted ceiling along the windows and walls. Original cornices loan character and the walls are pitted to show their numerous renewals. The hunter green of the tiles, coffee machine, cups and lights look like wads of money flung against the monotony of banking. The focal point of the décor is the old bank safe door –left standing to guard the assets of Little Henri’s pantry.

I was shown to a table and sat down on a Thonet inspired wooden café chair. The wait staff seemed a little nervous, and probably were given the newness of Little Henri, but this was balanced by their courtesy and attentiveness. The menu was a deposit of colour and made a statement with its fiery abstract tones offset by the now familiar Little Henri silhouette. Little Henri has drafted a breakfast menu cutely called ‘Good Morning’ – which it would be if you started with the day with the croissants or brioche featured. Lunches are divided into Small (such as Fried Chicken Po’Boy), Salads and Big (the organic pork and fennel sausages sound good).

I ordered an espresso which arrived promptly and was drawn via a La Marzocco machine. The bean was of mixed origin and credited to Allpress coffee. I sipped my coffee whilst listening to Little Henri’s playlist and enjoyed the pared back restraint of the décor. A door leading outside takes you to a courtyard which is billed to become a beer garden once Little Henri gains their liquor license – which seems an ideal way to pass a future afternoon. As for me and my money musings, I must end with a quote, only slightly altered, by Louisa May Alcott “Money is the root of all evil, and yet it is such a useful root that we cannot get on without it any more than we can without coffee.”

Little Henri
848 High Street
Thornbury, 3071
T. 03 9484 8857


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