Little Collins Larder is a great new addition to the Paris end of the Melbourne CBD. In particular, for the top of Little Collins St, this cafe is a welcome new entrant. While a number of Melburnians would've been sad to see the closure of the Naval and Military Club in 2009 - a club in excess of 125 years old that occupied a sizeable footprint near the top end of Little Collins - it is undoubted as a spin-off effect, the emergence of new business on the block has occurred in its place. The opening of the Sheraton Hotel in early 2014 has brought about a considerable increase of foot traffic to the area, and with it, a new vibrance for the street.
The opening of Little Collins Larder, which can be viewed as Sheraton's in-house cafe, can be viewed as the next step in this progression. Walking on by one immediately notices the signboard, and the eye catching font that gives the impression much attention has gone into the little details of the business. Walking on into LCL, the impression is confirmed - and the some. Its a little thing, but to be sure - little things make great businesses - and the placing of the menu signboard is an example of this. Having anticipated ques would be lining up at the door (and perhaps outside of it) the coffee/drinks menu has been near the entrance - but before the counter - so patrons can have had chance to pick their order well before being asked to place it.
Again, this may seem like a small thing, but to someone on a quick coffee break from their office - or needing to also run to the bank on the lunch break - the little moments of extra time saved can be appreciated; and in turn shall surely win repeat customers.
Beyond the coffee orders and counter, the cafe is spacious and attractive ,and indeed - though its clear much thought has gone into how to deliver speedy takeaway service - so too is there ample room for those who wish to sit and stay longer.
Making good use of the natural light that flows in, the lighting is not overbearing nor intrusive, instead, barely noticeable on a sunny day - but present just enough for the seasons when Melbourne's grey skies return.
Concerning the menu itself, alongside the usual offerings of coffee, teas and juices there is an especial emphasis on using locally-sourced ingredients. Alongside being able to boast this cafe is very 'authentically Melbourne' therefore, it also does much to deliver a freshness and familiar aspect to the food on offer. This serves as a real plus not only for locals, but so too for those visitors to Melbourne - many of whom will pop over from the Sheraton Hotel itself - who wish to come to know and identify the 'Melbourne taste' in the culinary world.
To some this angle and emphasis from the cafe may appear a bit challenging (or even confronting), but fear not. Just like the fixings and features of the cafe, the staff and warm and inviting, and no trouble should be had if somewhat unsure and looking for help in what exactly you'd like to order.
All up, a new and shiny cafe in a fast-moving part of town, that no less is making great inroads in becoming a familiar go-to. For those who just seek a quick coffee, or little nook to conceal oneself for a moment from the great big and busy city, Little Collins Larder not be passed by.