The Grind Espresso Bar and Cafe, Surf Road, Cronulla - Sydney
Andy had been singing the praises of this cafe and I had to try it. Located on a side lane parallel to the main pedestrian mall in Cronulla in Sydney's south-east, it has a width of two shop fronts and faces the low rise single garages for units across the narrow roadway. One can say it has a partly hidden location, but two streets away is the mall. The place may first look cluttered but there is a method to the buzz. The staff are cheerful on the morning the three of us dropped by. The lady who took our orders had a busy commencement in the cafe since that Saturday dawn, but she still had the wit to say she is working "on the grind" around mid-morning. There is a sheen of brown about the decor, interrupted by graceful lights and unusual punctuations - I love the Ciry Rail time table board that lists the type of coffee available instead of suburban rail stations.
The coffee is wholesome, flavourful and makes me want to return. Chairs can be low or high, in disparate combos that reflect more of Sydney's Newtown or Melbourne's Chapel Street. We can be shoulder to shoulder, or maybe thigh to thigh at times, but everyone seems to relish in their cuppa, especially when the sky is so blue outside. The coffee has character but so has the place and delivery. Snacks are practical and easy. I felt as if I was in a fete and the village had all turned up to have a communal addiction fulfilled.
If there is such a thing as a regular gathering hole for coffee, mates and community, the Grind does measure up. It has the atmosphere of a place where you can meet up with new or old mates, bring the family or just have a quiet moment from the cares of the world. The Grind seems to be a stop in the schedule of the customers. We went there after a breakky meal in another part of Cronulla. We naturally joined in the liveliness of the place. I did not notice if wifi was provided, but I reckoned not - and it was not necessary at all. Would I return - yes at the next opportunity!