I walk past Scope Café in Floreat at least twice a week. It is usually busy, with a few people waiting for takeaway coffees, the outside tables are consistently in use, usually with a friendly dog or two sitting under a table.
This is very much a local café, and the customers are very much locals. Whether they are cyclists at the end of their morning ride, supermarket staff grabbing a coffee before starting their shift, or groups grazing on a late breakfast, you get the feeling that people have been here before.
Despite being located in a suburban shopping centre, the people at Scope have done a lot to make it feel comfortable and cozy and yes, even funky. Some walls are plastered with current band, theatre and movie posters. Others are brightly painted and covered with original art, framed prints and random objects. The floor is black. The mismatched chairs and curved wall of windows make Scope feel open, while the squashy leather couch and two leather armchairs, circling a weathered wooden coffee table in the corner makes it feels like someone's lounge room. Don't forget the over-sized rubber ducks on the front counter. Too cool for school.
And now for a smooth segue. Scope is owned by local boy and former Hale student Ben Minson, and for the past three years he has invited Hale students to be part of the 'Open early for a Cause' project, where the boys learn barista skills, the general public get their coffee a little earlier than usual, and the Nulsen charity earns well-deserved fundraising money.
All this lends itself to the feeling that Scope is very much part of the local community. So I recently decided to stop walking past, and walk in. I had promised my daughter breakfast before the boring weekly shopping adventure, and she was on the prowl for pancakes. Alas, there were no pancakes on the all-day breakfast menu (until 3pm) but she was satisfied with the sweet French Toast.
Most of the usual suspects are present: Eggs Benedict ($17), home-made baked beans on Turkish ($15), Bircher muesli ($16), and a bacon and egg toastie ($13). There are also a few surprises: the grilled haloumi vege breakfast includes fresh spinach, parmesan, tomatoes, mushrooms and balsamic beetroot relish ($17) and the wildcats omelette made from egg white with turkey, capsicum and onion with a side of chicken or smoked salmon ($18).
Flip the menu and you are presented with a range of classic lunchtime café fare: soup ($14), bruschetta ($12), burgers ($15-$18), salads ($16), wraps ($12) and toasted quesadillas ($16). The three layered club sandwich with chicken, avocado, mayo, bacon, lettuce and tomato sounded right up my alley ($17).
But we were eating French Toast. Without being anything flashy or special, it was simple and tasty. Two pieces of regular white bread were dipped in egg and friend, sprinkled with cinnamon and liberally dusted with icing sugar. Small bowls of maple syrup and canned cream provided extra sweetness, halved fresh strawberries and slices of orange added the pretence that this was a healthy breakfast. My daughter scoffed most of it, I had to distract her ('Look, a rubber duck!') and pinch pieces while she wasn't looking.
I doubt that people would drive across Perth for breakfast or lunch at Scope, but to the people living nearby or visiting the Forum, it would be a welcome fixture. And since it seems to pride itself on being a part of the local community, I'd say it deserves to be the type of place that has crowds of regulars.