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Byron Shire
November 30, 2021

Footloose and wi-fi free

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Footbridge-front

Matthew Michaelis

Brunswick Heads is crowded with good coffee and fare.

I say this after chomping down a falafel pocket from Yami’s, then, moving to the right and down the lane, I sidled into Footbridge for my after-coffee.

This is the after-party for my much-talked-about caffeine addiction spoken of both in these very editorials and by the folks who live close by my house (the lights pop on quite early).

The Footbridge is the epitome of friendliness. It’s one of those rare places that appear to source their staff from fairy kingdoms. I put this down to magic powers – it’s got to be, it’s no easy task hiring and keeping hospitality folk that care and smile all in the same shift.

Having said this, I came in at 8am the other day. A friend of mine had been waiting for a macchiato for 45 minutes. It doesn’t take much time to figure out that Paul (my friend) is, like me, a coffee junkie.

The first signs are the puffy eye-bags (don’t tell him I said); yes, I have them too. They usually subside after the first four coffees. I can’t imagine the twisted suffering he was experiencing after no drug for this time. Suffice to say, he wasn’t happy.

footbridge-JackieHe could no longer wait, he told me irritatingly. He called the waitress over and rightly gave her a telling-off.

He told her that things were awry and that he couldn’t wait any longer. She was gentle and calm in her reply; she apologised and explained how things had gotten ‘away from them’.

It was extremely busy, and she added that they were ‘waiting on the 9am person to arrive’. We did move on, reluctantly, though the moral of this story is simple: ‘nice’ staff will leave the door open regardless of the ­problem; nasty or rude service may not.

Although I missed out on my morning coffee, the fact that the even-handed annoyance expressed by my friend wasn’t taken personally or as an insult by the staff meant a clean slate and a bridge over troubled waters.

The owners here are definitely hiring happy, switched-on humans and some of them are expert espresso producers too. The dab-handed Aaron makes the boiler sing with my sorta tunes. Haley floats deftly by with a smile from ear to ear, the only thing missing the little cartoon bluebirds fluttering around her good-natured head.

That’s the staff, now for the decor. Homely, Melburnesque and comfy. A wall is designed like the fascia of a house beneath an arty mural; it’s all for the little folk. A small table and chairs with toys and the stuff for a relaxed or hyperactive Johnny, Jack or Jilly to mull over.

This is the place to come a bit early for brekkie. It’s now popular so perhaps try to mix it up a bit, maybe around 11.30am or 6.30am or 2.30pm; I won’t be responsible for any other hours should you stumble in.

Footbridge-cakeI haven’t yet tried lunch but gauging from the brilliant breakfast and the stunning fresh-baked afternoon cakes I’ve tried thus far, it’s not a stretch to imagine the food at lunch to be also good. I’ve tried eggs here and pancakes with stewed apple ,maple and cream. The pannies were buttermilk made with treacle and currants and maple.

Great, though the addition of brown sugar to the cream was alarming to my delicate bloodwork.

Eggs – perfect and nicely plated, delivered with a smile of course, and avocado, haloumi, sautéed spinach and a great tomato relish all on sourdough. Coffee here never fails to please, though I’ve only been here when barista Aaron’s starring.

I’m a writer often on deadlines, so I do look for wi-fi just for odd stuff – there is none here. It’s unplugged just like the service. They want to interact with humans I think and thankfully there are still people who do.

If you find yourself footloose and fancy free in Brunswick Heads, turn off everything and come build a bridge to get over yourself – humanity and tastebuds only!

Footbridge

Eat in / Take away

6.30am–4pm, 7 days

1/14 The Terrace, Brunswick Heads

Phone: 6685 1991

 


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