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Espressivo Coffee Bar, Kenmore/Chapel Hill

Home > Brisbane > Coffee | Cafes
by Sigrid Parker (subscribe)
Travel writer, with teenage kids, who treats Brisbane as a holiday destination...every weekend!
Published May 15th 2013
Insider knowledge that’s worth acting on
Insider information is worth millions when it comes to finding a great coffee. Taking a tip from a local, I have discovered a very personal, bright and friendly café – and one that always serves an energising caffeine fix.

Espressivo Coffee Bar, Wongabel Street, Kenmore, takeaway, cafe, Akuna Oval, Chapel Hill
Locals flock to Dennis' Espressivo on a quiet street in Kenmore


Dennis' Espressivo Coffee Bar on Wongabel Street in Kenmore is a locals-only sort of place. Locals refer to it simply as Dennis'…as if popping over for a cuppa with a mate for a chat. And that is exactly what happens here, every morning, 7 days a week.

It is also the sort of café where I feel perfectly comfortable going solo: having a coffee on my own with the newspaper, a good book or some writing to do.

Dennis Espressivo coffee, cafe, Wongabel Street, Kenmore, Marshall Lane, Akuna Oval, UQFC, Kenmore FC, Bears, AFL, rugby
Dennis, the friendly face of Espressivo. Room to spread over the pavement.


Although only spitting distance from McDonalds and the Kenmore Plaza shops, Dennis' Espressivo is tucked into an interesting little side street. Next to the café is a boutique florist (FIG Flowers Interior Gifts), a busy Chinese restaurant (Sichuan Bang Bang), an Indian supermarket (7 Hills Impex), and round the corner the Marshall Lane post office. You would never know any of it was here unless you had insider information. But back to the coffee.

Why is Espressivo so great? Espressivo is an intimate cafe on a corner block in this backstreet marked by cheery red umbrellas and a light-filled interior. The clientele spill on to the pavement at the front, or on the deck at the back, with umbrellas for shade. Inside there are just half a dozen tables. It is cosy, it is upbeat, it is personal and there are newspapers to browse. It is also busy which is a great sign. And Dennis is here.

Who is Dennis? Espressivo is owned and run by Dennis, the friendliest barista I have come across in Brisbane. Dennis tells me that locals refer to his café simply as Dennis' and I can believe it. I have been frequenting Dennis' intermittently since the cafe opened four years ago but you can spot a regular a mile off. They are the ones engrossed in deep and meaningful conversations with the hands-on Dennis. Names are not called out on the takeaway orders; no, Dennis personally delivers them.

Dennis Espressivo, coffee, cafe, licensed, Genovese, Wongabel Street, Kenmore, Akuna Oval, Marshall Lane
Something for everyone: Delicious cakes and giant freckles


What's in a name: Talking of names, Dennis says he chose the name Espressivo as a play on words. Espressivo is Italian for "adding action, playing with expression". Con espressione. This is the official name of his business. But since regulars referred to his place simply as Dennis' he added his name to the signage later.

The coffee: The other reason for coming is the Genovese coffee, an Australian-made Italian style espresso. My flat white is consistently strong and robust in flavour. There are cakes and biscuits (the Giant Freckles keep little mouths occupied), as well as sourdough sandwiches and Italian-style piadina wraps.

Espressivo is also licensed and can cater for private functions of between 30 and 60 people.

Closest takeaway to Akuna Oval sports fields: For the hundreds of families heading to the Kenmore AFL, soccer or rugby clubs on weekends, Dennis' Espressivo is the closest coffee shop to the games and does a roaring trade in takeaways.

Dennis' Espressivo Coffee Bar is certainly adding 'espressione' to this little street.
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Why? Superb coffee and friendly atmosphere
When: Mon-Sat 7am-1pm. Sun 8am-12pm
Phone: 0437 344 345
Where: 16 Wongabel St, Kenmore QLD 4069
Cost: Coffee from $3.50
Your Comment
Dennis makes the best coffee in the area!!!
by refin (score: 0|6) 3297 days ago
I know he does the best coffee in Kenmore

tess
by sarah (score: 0|2) 3288 days ago
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