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Between The Bars Cafe

Home > Brisbane > Lunch | Coffee | Cafes | Brunch | Breakfast
by Maureen Durney (subscribe)
After retiring from a very long teaching career, my new career is: travelling, blogging and writing from the beautiful northern end of the NSW coast. You can follow my journey at maureendurney.com/ Life is Good!
Published January 12th 2018
Raise the bar with a coffee Between The Bars
I'm always nervous about ordering coffee in unfamiliar places, and a recent trip to the West End of Brisbane was definitely unfamiliar territory.

While walking towards the cafe that my friend usually frequents, something made us stop at the cute little place called Between The Bars. Sometimes it works to just choose a cafe, based more on instinct than any formal calculation, and sometimes it doesn't. It seems luck was with us that day because the coffee was fantastic!

West end,brisbane,between the bars
The welcome mat is always out at Between The Bars


But we all know that good coffee is more than just the beans and how they are ground and brewed, right?

Right!

Good coffee is also the company shared while consuming it and the ambience of the surroundings. Okay, let me rephrase that. If I'm desperate for caffeine, I could be sitting alone in the Sahara Desert with sand blasting away at my face, and the coffee would taste okay.

But what turns that 'okay' coffee into 'WoW' coffee depends on:

  • The expertise of the Barista

  • The quality of the beans

  • The quality of the service

  • Where you are sitting

  • Who you are sitting with


Brisbane,West End,Between the Bars,coffee,cafe,eatery
Between The Bars at West End Brisbane


This was definitely a 'WoW!' coffee moment

My first encounter at Between The Bars was with Mal, the owner's father, who was standing patiently behind the counter ready to take my order. Rather than address me in the expected manner, he turned "what can I do for you" into an old saying my father used to use. Nothing too special, just a switch in the order of the words, but it brought back a flood of fond memories. I won't elaborate on the phrase because if you happen to visit the cafe and Mal isn't there, you might be disappointed.

between the bars, coffee
Nick with his dad, Mal


That simple act set the scene for a perfect morning interlude. The fact that I'd already been put at ease made the risk of drinking an unknown brand of coffee a lot less daunting.

The real taste of coffee

Having ordered my usual double-shot Cappuccino, we took a seat at the little nook in the front window. This gave us a prime position to view the street over the rim of our coffee cups and ponder the problems of the world. When the coffee arrived, I hesitantly took a sip, not expecting much, but hoping that it wouldn't be too far from drinkable.

West end,brisbane,between the bars,coffee,eatery
Nick, the very capable Barista and owner of Between The Bars


I was flabbergasted!

The coffee was mellow - extremely mellow. The flavour was gentle, despite the double shot, and the full extent of the taste lingered on my taste-buds. I won't go into a technical description of the taste - but it was good! It was definitely the variety that makes you go "Ahh" as you indulge your caffeine-starved taste-buds with the first coffee of the day.

Not only was the coffee great and the ambience exceptional, it was all tied together with outstanding service.

But was it as good as...?

ReCafeNate, my local coffee shop back home in Murwillumbah, has the best coffee anywhere, but I was surprised to find that the coffee at Between The Bars was 99.9% as good as the coffee Josh makes.

Sitting there in that little corner of the world, the sweet coffee taste lingering on my taste-buds, I was able to take in the scene around me. The atmosphere had a peaceful tranquillity, unexpected in that busy hub of Boundary Street.

On the inside

Although the sun was streaming through the front window, the soft lighting inside created a cosy atmosphere. The clever use of white tiles and stainless steel reflected the faultless design of the work areas. And the arrangement of the tables and decor, used sparingly, gave an uncluttered feel to the room.

West end,brisbane,between the bars
White tiles and stainless steel


Love the logo!

A beautifully captured image of the logo adorns the side wall, subtly reminding patrons of the brand name of the store. While it is a nice feature, anyone who partakes of a coffee at Between The Bars will undoubtedly make sure they remember the name and location for future reference, as I did.

Between the bars,west end,brisbane,coffee,eatery,logo
The beautiful logo adorns the side wall


And excellent coffee isn't the only thing that's going down in this neck of the Boundary Street woods. Between The Bars also offers a great variety of food - from display cabinet (delicious) carbs - to freshly cooked orders from the menu.

Between the bars,west end,coffee,eatery
The pastry cabinet looked inviting

Cake,coffee,between the bars,west end,brisbane,coffee,eatery
The coffee menu!


And the coffee......

....was so good I bought some of the whole beans. My morning routine of a freshly brewed coffee back home would surely handle a nostalgic link to that fabulous morning brew at Between The Bars.

BYO cup and save some cash

At the very reasonable price of the coffee, you could easily make it your morning preference if you are a local. And if you like a discount, take your own cup in and you'll pay even less for your morning cup of joe.

Cup of joe,between the bars,west end,brisbane,coffee
BYO cup and save some money


Getting There...

Getting to Between The Bars couldn't be easier. If you have your own transport, as we did, you will surely find a parking spot on one of the streets nearby. But if you don't have wheels, Bus 199 will have you disembarking right outside the cafe. It doesn't get any easier than that.

between the bars, coffee, west end, brisbane
You might be lucky enough to meet Charlie, a local identity


Feeding the hunger pangs!

If you haven't eaten for a while, Between The Bars would be the ideal place to feed your hunger pangs at breakfast or lunch. My friend and I only indulged in the coffee, even though the highlights on the menu-board were very tempting. If we hadn't had breakfast a little earlier, we would definitely have considered an early lunch. But that pleasure awaits us on another occasion, when we find ourselves in the West End of beautiful downtown Brisbane.
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Why? Life is too short to drink bad coffee!
When: Every day - 7am to mid-afternoon - closing times vary - check website
Phone: 0403 243 699
Where: 140 Boundary Street West End Brisbane
Cost: Average cost for coffee - discount for BYO cup
Your Comment
Great comeback, Maureen - I've missed your stories! Congrats on the Silver - a well-deserved one!
by Elaine (score: 3|5486) 252 days ago
Great write up Maureen, I could almost taste that coffee!
by Kate Blake (score: 3|1285) 252 days ago
Great article Maureen. I think many readers will find their way to Between the Bars.
by Di Hill (score: 2|422) 252 days ago
Finding a great coffee shop is almost like seeing sunlight through clouds. I usually know though, if I have to put sugar in coffee, then it's no good!
by Annette Vandersluis (score: 2|764) 250 days ago
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