I discovered this cafe a couple years ago, just after it first opened. It was big, bare, cheap and different — the new kid on a city block that’s generally off-limits to the budget-conscious.
Today, 1000 £ Bend is still big, relatively cheap and different — just with a few extra chairs, tables, lamps and lude scribblings on the bathroom walls that have gathered over time. The intervening years have given this cafe space to settle and find its groove — that groove being a blase hangout for Melbourne’s alternative crowd who have been shoe-horned out of their Fitzroy/Northcote/Brunswick homes and flung into Melbourne’s all-too-mainstream CBD. Despite its city location, you won’t find a suit in sight, although free Wi-Fi makes this a popular workspace so during the day the place becomes a sea of laptops.
Behind the cafe area in the front is an enormous room used as a quieter work space — when it’s not being used to house exhibitions. Upstairs is a cinema, where free film screenings take place every Sunday. There’s also free live music on Sundays from 2pm-4pm.
Food here is mostly of the snack variety (toasties, burgers, salads, etc) and you can get all-day breakfasts, lunches and dinners. Prices are very reasonable for the city — the menu ranges from $7 to $18. Coffee is a fairly standard $3.50.
And paupers take note: If you’re around on a Tuesday after 5pm, you can nab a $9 roo burger and a pot for $2.50.
Address: 361 Little Lonsdale St, Melbourne 3000
Opening hours: 8am–11pm Monday to Wednesday, 8am–1am Thursday and Friday, 10am–1am Saturday, 10am–11pm Sunday.
Click here to view 1000 £ Bend’s events page.