Barbershop. Shoemaker. Tailor. Café.
Step into the light filled space that is Captains of Industry, and get instantly whisked back in time to the charms of old world with a feel of the roaring 20s. Located upstairs in a laneway off Elizabeth Street with windows overlooking the historic GPO building – this hidden gem seems to have it all covered.
Part bistro, part barber, part tailor and shoemaker – the venue is decorated with vintage ornaments and paraphernalia – industrial furniture, old weighing scales and a refrigerator, Singer sewing machines nesting on rustic wooden tables, black and white photographs and art deco hanging lamps. The bar staff and patrons alike ooze a certain cool like rapscallions of the Depression era. I feel like we have stepped onto the set of the ‘Boardwalk Empire’. Myself – Bonnie and my dear friend – Clyde instantly feel at ease, as we draw in the ambience of this ‘effortlessly trendy’ quintessential Melbournian.
The Bistro offers a brief but alluring menu with a few mains and a number of side dishes to choose from. Both lovers of the red – we start with a bottle of Barossa Valley Merlot. Crunchy sourdough drizzled with olive oil is brought to our table by an attentive staff. We order our mains. My Ocean trout confit is a work of art. Tender pieces of cured trout are presented on a plate with carefully selected ingredients – baby cos, endive, chives, enoki mushrooms, thinly sliced radish, orange segments and micro herbs – Heaven. My partner in crime devours juicy pieces of grain fed steak with grilled cos and celeriac, complimented by a side of Pomme Mousse. Not a bad start to the weekend.
Living in Melbourne and being spoilt for choice – I am very fussy with my coffee and, once again, The Captains do not disappoint. Serving up a high grade Arabica blend supplied by Bailey Coffee in North Melbourne, the sweet and bitter notes leave a lasting finish. Quality is the word.
Unable to resist, we order rich chocolate ganache with crushed cardamom for dessert. Meanwhile, the barber works his magic on a stylish gent next door. The Tailor is busy cutting patterns, and everything seems right in its place. As the afternoon slips away, I wonder if Clyde and I shouldn’t kick back for a couple more hours to enjoy fresh shucked Coffin Bay oysters at $2.50 a pop while listening to live jazz – on every Friday from 7pm. ‘I can resist anything but temptation’.