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When a friend suggested we go and spend time at Scout Café in Petrie Terrace, I jumped at the opportunity – to not only see her but also try somewhere I hadn't been. Self-described as part cafe, part living room, Scout is a Brisbane favourite that I have been wanting to visit for ages and now was my chance.
Scout is a corner facing café located in one of Brisbane's oldest and original suburbs. It is the first building in a quartet of heritage-listed attached workers cottages known as Princess Row, (complete with dormer windows peeping through the roof beside brick chimneys), which were created in 1863. The cottages were built by then chemist/developer William John Costins before he fell into insolvency in the late 1860s. The first of the terraces was converted to an inter-war shop, which is now Scout.
In case you were wondering, what became of the other 3, well the remaining terraces (some of the oldest surviving of their type) have been stylishly restored into private businesses including an art society. With an exterior now painted dark slate and with some smart Queensland friendly finishes, they resemble similarly styled cottages which are more akin to those you see more readily in inner-city Sydney and Melbourne.
What's in a Name? Scout takes its name from the character, "Scout Finch" in the Harper Lee American fictional classic To Kill a Mockingbird (the owner's favourite book) with its universal themes of inclusion and fairness. Those familiar with the book will recall that Scout was the narrator of the book and her father, Atticus Finch, was a noble defence lawyer.
Photo courtesy Scout Finch facebook page
My Experience at Scout My friend and I sat outside at one of two art deco, curbside tables overlooking Hardgrave Park, which was glowing with the purple rain of the seasonal Jacaranda Trees. We flicked through the bi-folded paper menu to discover that for a small café, Scout's sophisticated all-day brunch menu packs a punch. Prices are comparative and reasonably priced in the brunch market.
Our selection saw 3 beautiful dishes arrive at our table: Smash Avocado, feta, herbs, olive oil and lemon on sourdough $15.00
The phrase "Scout's Honour" appears several times on the menu. Of course, this Scout's oath is about being trustworthy or honest or upholding a promise or duty. And this little café, including its food, does not fail to deliver.
The food arrived soon after ordering and was fresh and flavoursome and made with a generous heart. I felt like I could feel the sincerity in the food.
Speciality coffee is on offer courtesy of "Supreme". It's good to know that Scout also provides catering for private functions.
The Scout style
Scout doesn't have to try hard to bring a cool, inner-city attitude. It just has it in bucket loads along with a friendly, laid back welcoming warmth.
Inside is not a large space but this only makes it more intimate and personal and gives you that feeling that you've discovered something special. It is brimming with unique urban character and edgy charm. Be sure to wander inside and find the dining room and communal table at the back of the shop with its own fireplace and murals.
This space has a mural of a giant, brown Grizzly Bear created by its neighbours from the Queensland Art Society. Speaking of art, don't forget to check out the mural on the outside wall of the shop in Princess Street.
The tables at the front of the café, alongside a weathered, exposed brick wall, have full-length glass windows which overlook the streetscape.
Just like it's Mockingbird namesake, Scout Café is confident, individual and good-hearted.
It was hard to find a single standout because there was so much to catch your attention. Great food, friendly service, authentic décor sympathetic to the era. I have it on good authority that it is worth visiting the bathrooms just to check out the Vladamir Putin calendar on the wall.
So I guess you get the drill. I love, love, loved it. Writing for WeekendNotes affords me the chance to visit a lot of places and sometimes a gem comes along that you want to shout about and share with the world.
Scout is now one of my favourite places in Brisbane and I can't wait for the opportunity to go back and back and keep experiencing more. It is well worth dropping by to enjoy its easy uniqueness before or after visiting the centre of the city. If you enjoy quality food blended with edgy urban cool and a splattering of original art this is your place.