Barista Ibrahim Yu is bringing a new café concept to the old Paddy’s Lantern space on Gilbert Street.
Leisurely Coffee is coming soon to Gilbert Street
The day Ibrahim Yu peeled the Paddy’s Lantern lettering off his new shop’s front window was a sad day.
The space’s former owner, Sam Carey, left the lettering up to allow Ibrahim a sense of pageantry as he embarked on his new project, Leisurely Coffee. But Ibrahim had been a long-time fan of the old shop.
219 Gilbert Street, Adelaide 5000
Mon—Sat: 7am ’til 3pm
Slated to launch by November 2020.
“Oh, that day I felt terrible,” he tells CityMag.
“But [Sam] said, ‘No, you’ll be excited when you take it off and put your name on it.’ I’m not that kind of person. I’m not stepping on here: ‘Yeah, this is mine now.’
“Because this is a spot that I come for coffee too. It was a bit sad.”
Now with his name on the lease, Ibrahim has grand plans for the space.
The Synesso coffee machine and the large timber benchtop will remain, but Leisurely Coffee is an entirely new concept.
When we meet with Ibrahim on site, the back of the space has been cleared out, where a kitchen will soon be installed.
“Everyone knows it’s a place for coffee already,” Ibrahim explains.
“I know during COVID, it’s a big risk to still want [a] full commercial kitchen, but I’d rather do the pain for the start and then hopefully, eventually, you can create a flexible menu to make it work.”
Ibrahim has a background as a chef, working in the kitchen of a Chinese restaurant during his days as a marketing student, and he’s currently working with a consultative chef to design a menu that is inclusive for vegan and vegetarian diners. The menu will also be entirely halal to make the space fully accessible for Adelaide’s Muslim community.
“I’m Muslim, that’s why I really wanted to have a place that is vegan-friendly, halal-friendly,” he says.
“My menu will be small but unique. I’ll try not to do what other people do all the time. That’s why after I finish all this hard part, I need to sit down with my chef to lock down what I really want to do.”
Having worked for 10 years in cafés – at Cocolat, Cibo, Bar 9 and most recently Devour – Ibrahim knows bacon is a café staple, but he’s working to introduce a halal-friendly version he calls “beef bacon.”
“I saw in American and Sydney, they have the smoked brisket and slice it in those tiny little fatty trim. They can create that similar texture,” he says.
The coffee will come from Ona, a Canberran roastery, with two espresso roasts available – one blend designed for milk-based coffee and a rotating single-origin option – as well as batch brew on pour and the opportunity for V60 filter coffee too.
During his time working at Bar 9 on Glen Osmond Road, Ibrahim found community in the Adelaide coffee scene. The shop was a “coffee library,” he says, and an opportunity for coffee lovers to come in and talk about what they were drinking.
Primarily Ibrahim hopes Leisurely will be a space in which people can “chill, relax” and “enjoy coffee and food,” but he also wants to Leisurely to foster community around coffee, and allow people to feel part of the business.
“For the front [of the shop], busy takeaway and pumping out coffee,” he says.
“I have a section [at the back] so that it’s still a free island. Most of the time, when you go to the place, you order batch brew, they can pour straight away and give it to you. But let’s say I’m a coffee nerd, I really want to learn something from you, they can come to the stage here.
“For example, those people who don’t know how to make coffee, maybe they’re just interested in holding a kettle just to take photos, nowadays, for Instagram purposes. It’s a fun place.”
Leisurely Coffee is slated to launch by November, and will operate from 7am ‘til 3pm Monday to Saturday.
If there is enough interest, Ibrahim may also hold occasional coffee training and cupping nights on Thursday and Friday evenings.
Connect with Leisurely Coffee via Instagram.