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St Ali and the Queen serves coffee and cocktails from a raw, industrial backdrop

Fiona Lynch Office adopted a ‘rational and bold’ philosophy for this Melbourne coffee spot, which converts into a bar for the evenings.

Located in the city’s Queen Victoria Market, the cafe is part ‘trad European coffee shop’ and part brutalist riff. The wooden benches and tables feel like standard fare; however, they contrast polished concrete floors, sculptural concrete ceilings and brass shelves, elevating the interior entirely.

It’s an ode to materiality, with a counter made of stacked blocks of stone and marble, adding to the rawness of the space. FLO describes the interiors as ‘stripped back, relaxed and honest’.

The concrete vaulted roof and raw timber funiture
Photography: Tom Blachford

The Melbourne cafe is also flexible in use, allowing people to sit at the counter, order from a takeaway window, or sink into a spot by the window.

In the evenings, caffeine is switched for booze as St Ali and the Queen transforms into an intimate cocktail bar – although coffee-flavoured options remain on the menu. Lighting switches the ambience to moody and sophisticated, adding an extra dimension to the space.

1 Dhanga Djeembana Walk, Melbourne, VIC 3000

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