I’ve no doubt every Smiths fan in Melbourne’s ears pricked up when word spread of a new cafe called Salford Lads Club. (There’s a memorable album shot of the band posing outside its original incarnation in Manchester.) And just as The Smiths were every suburban misfit’s security blanket when they came out, it seems fitting that Salford Lads Club – the cafe – is a little misfit itself, just doing its own quiet little thing amid the bleak, bewildering backstreets of industrial Port Melbourne.
Look for the parked bikes and the tyre swing hanging from the massive tree out the front and you’re in the right place. Inside has a very ‘converted warehouse’ feel with bare lightbulbs and chickenwire windows, but the cute alcoves, kitschy pictures, souvenir teaspoons and Northern memorabilia file off any super hard edges.
The menu is pretty fresh and simple – breakfasts of eggs benny or atlantic, porridge with fruit compote, avocado on toast (but served with hummus, lemon and sumac instead of the usual cheek-burning fetta), lunches of some pretty interesting specials too. The Supreme coffee is delicious – if you’re a lover of Batch’s brew on Carlisle St, you’ll be very happy with the coffee at SLC. Instantly recognisable as coffee Supreme.
As you leave, you may be tempted to nick one of the bikes from out the front and re-enact this; but don’t. Your hipster glasses will do the trick just fine.