Recommended by a WeekendNotes reader, Lou, who we ran into at Kroll Gardens just down the road, Eddy and I piled into the car with a good friend of ours and set off for a 4 minute drive to the Drowned Rat Espresso Bar. I was intrigued by their name 'Drowned Rat', as is not your typical choice of name for a cafe! Drowned Rat sits on the esplanade in beautiful Clontarf, in the Moreton Bay region - their outdoor seating grants picturesque sea views, complete with a refreshing sea breeze.
Look out for this sign along Hornibrook Esplanade!
I thought long and hard about this, from when Lou first told me about it (I thought I must have misheard the name), up till the moment I pulled up outside the cafe. When I saw that the logo of the cafe was of a chihuahua, rather than a rodent, I realised that I was not on the right track - the Drowned Rat Espresso was named as such for dogs rather than rats!
Eddy the 3/4 pug & 1/4 chihuahua, pictured with Drowned Rat Espresso's logo, with a chihuahua on it!
The Drowned Rat Espresso Bar was named after how the owner's dog looked after he went for his first swim in Redcliffe - a drowned rat! With Eddy and I having gone to dog beaches countless of times, I wholeheartedly agree with how dogs change change from cute, fluffy little things, to looking like a drowned rat literally within seconds. The fact that Drowned Rat has such a unique name plays to their advantage - it piques interest and ensures potential customers will remember the name of the cafe, in addition to ensuring that potential customers will not confuse this cafe with another.
The Drowned Rat Espresso Bar gives off a vintage-esque vibe, complete with rustic bar stools and even a yellow wooden piano! The plain, navy blue walls of the cafe and beautifully complemented with brightly coloured furniture and other decor - it's well worth taking a closer look and admiring the artistic thought that has been put into each small detail of the cafe.
Very much so! Dogs of all sizes and breeds are welcome here, as can be seen from the three different sized water bowls available for canine patrons of Drowned Rat. As per the name of this espresso bar, it doesn't matter how wet (or in Eddy's case on the day we went, muddy!) a dog is, they will always be welcome here at Drowned Rat. These spoilt pooches will also have their own fluffy mat, which is in the shape of a paw no less, to lie on for a rest after a day out by the water. Thanks Drowned Rat for being so thoughtful!
Pooches who come to Drowned Rat Espresso Bar will be spoilt with their own little furry mat, in the shape of a paw, to lie on.
2. They have books and magazines available, complete with pug bookends!! In addition, they have other "awesome stuff" such as their own 'Drowned Rat Blend' (beans or ground) available for purchase at $17 per 250g bag.
How is the food and drink at the Drowned Rat Espresso Bar?
Being an espresso bar, Drowned Rat Espresso Bar, in their words. "don't flip bacon and eggs cos ain't nobody got time for that"! However, they do have a range of food items (that don't involve flipping bacon and eggs) available, including toasties, grilled paninis, sweet and savoury muffins, banana loaf, fruit toast, yoghurts - food items may vary from day to day, so check out the counter for the day's offerings!
Extra long counter (with food items on display) that doubles as a bar table at the other end.
Drowned Rat have an extensive range of cold drinks that is the perfect remedy for the increasingly hot Queensland weather. Cold drinks include a range of milkshakes, iced chocolates, iced teas, sodas, chai coffees, cold brew coffees, and "coffee, coffee, coffee, and coffee". They also have the "usual suspects", including hot drinks such as a range of coffees (shortblack, doppio, piccolo, short mac, flat white, cappuccino, latte, long black, long mac, mocha, chai), origin teas (english breakfast, earl grey, orange pekoe, pepper mint, forestberry, lemongrass and ginger) at just $4.50 a pot. If caffeine isn't your thing, they also have 'grounded pleasures' options, including dark chocolate, dark infused chocolates, and Sri Lankan 7 spiced chai.
Rocking out the cold/iced drinks in preparation of the hotter weather!
I opted for a ham and cheese toastie, a brownie, and of course, my trusty soy cap. I was surprised by how delicious the food was, despite it looking quite simple - the toastie was prepared fresh, and the way the cheese melted in my mouth was perfect.
Drowned Rat is open 7 days a week, with opening times in Spring being from 6am to 2pm on weekdays (Monday to Friday), and 7am to 2pm on the weekend (Saturday and Sunday). It might be safer to visit in the morning, as Drowned Rat may close earlier than anticipated if it is a quiet day with not many customers. Better safe than sorry!
What other dog friendly activities could I do in this area?
Aside from the picture perfect Redcliffe Jetty, on Sundays, Redcliffe Parade is home to the Redcliffe Jetty Markets, a dog friendly market with a wide range of stalls, including those that cater specifically to canines! They are open from 8am to 12pm every Sunday.
My Little Neesh - customisable dog clothes and homemade preservative free dog treats.
There is also Kroll Gardens, just a 5 minute drive away - Kroll Gardens, at 5 hectares, is the biggest off-leash dog park within the Brisbane area. In fact, it is so big that there is a walking path within the park, meandering through lush vegetation - it's well worth a visit if you're in the area!
Eddy had a blast at the Drowned Rat Espresso Bar, in addition to the Redcliffe Jetty Markets and Kroll Gardens - it was a jam-packed day, but lucky Eddy as usual walked away with a bunch of precious memories, as well as some more tangible souvenirs!