There are plenty of "child friendly" coffee shops to choose from, but not many cafes developed especially for children. Ooniverse Cafe, which has just opened at the Cinema in Hawthorne (where The Nook used to be) is a quirky place which fills that gap. I am sure it will become a favourite spot for parents and kids in East Brisbane.
Ooniverse is the home of Nicky Noo and the "OO" Crew. Nicky Noo and her alien friends, Wacky Woo, Dancer Doo, Robby Roo and Shippy Shoo have come to Earth to encourage children to recycle, use good manners, eat well, be sun-safe and be positive. This comes to life in Ooniverse Cafe through the healthy menu and fun activities.
Healthy options available to order include reasonably priced fruit skewers and chicken wraps. I ordered a freshly squeezed apple juice and Turkish toast for my daughter and it came with healthy garnish of carrot sticks and cucumber. For grown-ups, they serve a decent Picco coffee.
With her name written on a lollipop stock next to her seed, she can go back and watch it grow - a great excuse for me to go out for a coffee! They also balloon-modelled a flower which she could take home. She couldn't wait to tell my husband about her trip there when he came home from work.
The decor is bright and zingy and the staff wear zesty orange "OO" Crew T-Shirts. There is fake grass on the floors and the colourful "OO" Crew characters adorn the walls. The tables are covered in paper to draw on and there are crayons and tubs of modeling clay to play with at the tables. There are Nicky Noo books to read on the tables. For younger ones, there is a corner with books and a few toys.
Nicky Noo and the "OO" Crew also run birthday parties. The 1.5 hour party includes activities such as painting, balloon modelling, treasure hunts and pass the parcel. The parties are run by Nicky Noo in costume.
Ooniverse will have its grand opening on 12th January but has already informally opened its doors. However, I was surprised how quiet it was when I went, considering it is the school holidays. It's a great concept which deserves to do well. So, spread the word and give it a try. It's very well located, next to Hawthorne Park, Tumbletastics and Hawthorne Limited Hours Childcare Centre. Let us know what you think in the comments forum below.
We went recently and I agree that the food on offer is healthy and yummy. However it was also quite grotty and messy - not sure if it was the aftermath of a kids party perhaps? Anyway my kids said they wouldn't want to go back because it was so dirty. That's a shame as it is a perfect little spot and so handy for before and after movies.