Standing Room is an oasis of calm to all those searching for that delicious caffeine hit in the madness that is Melbourne Central Shopping Centre. The hole-in-the-wall cafe, located near the Swanston Street exit, delivers quality coffee and delectable pastries to all who walk by, including commuters, shoppers and tourists.
Standing Room is owned by Thomas Kelly and Sally Roxon. The pair met while Thomas was studying at Melbourne University and working casually in Sally’s cafe, and they quickly discovered they shared an interest in hospitality and the operation of different venues. After much discussion, they identified that there were certain places in Melbourne where finding a good coffee was like finding a needle in a haystack – particularly in university campuses and shopping centres.
They set out to remedy this by creating a coffee concept that operates on the ethos of serving students and CBD office workers with specialty coffee, and fast. With a stylish fit-out part of the concept, the plan for Standing Room was set in motion.
Its first iteration was opened at the Union House building at Melbourne University in 2013. Since then, the pair have expanded the empire, adding two more university locations at Melbourne School of Design and Monash University Caulfield campus, as well as putting plans in the works one at RMIT – each with the name Standing Room.
The Melbourne Central venue opened in mid-2016 and represented Thomas and Sally’s first venture inside shopping centres. Looking towards the iconic clock, the shop is designed for ultimate efficiency. Commuters, shoppers and tourists are greeted by a slick space, dominated by the coffee bar in the middle. The Synesso machine takes pride of place, working with the grinders to produce a simple menu of caffeinated options.
Standing Room uses Five Senses’ Dark Horse blend for both black and white coffees, with the beans coming from Colombia, Nicaragua and Sumatra. It has delicate herbal aromas that lead into dark chocolate flavours, evolving to juicy blackcurrant notes and a syrupy body.
From the outset, Five Senses has been a great supporter of Standing Room, offering training sessions for all staff as well as endless product knowledge and service.
What’s a coffee without a bite to eat? There’s no avoiding the cabinet full of mouth-watering cakes and pastries, including Butterbing cookie sandwiches and Noisette pastries.
Like a beacon in rough waters, Standing Room offers respite from the hustle and bustle of one of the CBD’s busiest locations. Stop by for a brew and biscuit – it will soon become a part of your daily routine.