Homemade hash browns, locally sourced sausages and homegrown vegetables and herbs are on the menu at Annerley’s new breakfast café.
Ric LaSpina and his partner in crime Steve Holmes will open Snag & Brown later this month in the space formerly occupied by the popular Azafran Restaurant, with a strong emphasis on homemade and local produce.
“The menu will be a breakfast/brunch affair, specialising in homemade sausages and locally sourced sausages,” LaSpina says.
“Vegetarian/vegan options will also be tantalising your tastebuds, especially because we will be growing our own veggies out the back of the restaurant. Homegrown vegetables and herbs will contribute to the fresh and contemporary flavours that will be showcased and change with the seasons.”
Local suppliers like Bear Bones Espresso in the Valley, the West End Tea Co, Annerley Meats and Bulimba’s Angus Meats will also be favoured by LaSpina and Holmes, who say they want to “share our favourite local businesses with the locals”.
Originally from Melbourne, LaSpina and Holmes have been in the hospitality industry for 20 years. Both skilled chefs, they first worked together in a Melbourne café before making the move to Queensland, where they bought a café in Southport. They ended up selling that café and moving to Brisbane, where they built Queen Bean Espresso, and bought The Charles Bean Bar. After selling that, they built Harvest HQ in Cathedral Square and Platform Zero in the King George Square Busway, both of which they still own.
But the pair felt there was still something missing, prompting them to look into opening a café in the suburbs where they could spend their weekends.
“We’re always in cafés on the weekend,” LaSpina says, “so why not be in our own?”
Chef Alf Ustonoglu has been brought on board to put the menu in place, and LaSpina says he’s overflowing with ideas, including “braised pork belly, black pudding, a sweet potato mascarpone brown and a slow-poached egg with an apple and burnt onion puree”.
LaSpina and Holmes were regulars at Azafran before it closed and they bought the space, and admit they feel a bit of pressure to live up to that venue’s reputation.
“Yes, of course,” LaSpina says. “Everyone is missing that place so much, including us. We were customers ourselves!
“I’m sure that [Snag & Brown] being a breakfast café with daytime trading hours and a retro, upcycled look will help to distract you from the loss of the nighttime restaurant. We will endeavour to become a popular local favourite too, but you will always see a bit of Azafran in Snag & Brown.”
LaSpina adds that the venue will be dog-friendly, and will serve as a space for locals to chill out and relax.
“We have two Italian greyhounds, so there’s always a place for pets,” he says. “We’ve already bought dog water bowls, ready to go outside.
“We will also be kid-friendly. Future plans include a kids’ play house — and a beer garden for the folks.
“We also have a record library room if you just want to chill out, have a tea or coffee, read a book and listen to some old school vinyl.”
Snag & Brown will open on Thursday 11 August at 97 Ekibin Road, Annerley, and will be open from 7am to 3pm, seven days a week.
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