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June 2, 2020
Habits

La Buvette launches café concept Matinal

Gresham Street bar La Buvette is reopening this week and introducing a new daylight concept: French café Matinal.

  • Words and pictures: Johnny von Einem

SPECIAL REPORT: COVID-19 ADELAIDE

French bar La Buvette will re-enter Adelaide’s nightlife this week, as well as introducing a new daylight café concept: Matinal (the French version of the proverbial early worm).

Remarks

La Buvette and Matinal
27 Gresham Street, Adelaide 5000
Matinal: 7am ’til 3pm
La Buvette 4pm ’til late

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From 7am, the venue will open its doors for takeaway coffee and pastries, with the bar installing an under-bench coffee machine and making good use of Dawn Patrol beans.

Matinal will also offer French-style bowls of coffee – larger than usual mugs.

“You can have your croissant on the side, which you can dunk in the coffee,” says La Buvette and Matinal co-owner Dom Lentz.

The food on offer ranges from croissants and pain au chocolate to croque monsieur. The offering will expand as the city continues to reawaken as COVID-19 restrictions ease.

“We’ll have the boeuf bourguignon, a mushroom velouté soup, and an onion soup, so all of that warm and hearty meals,” Dom says.

Matinal will stop trade at around 3pm, from which point the shopfront will switch over to its much-loved La Buvette identity.

We want to be mindful, we’re adding another element, and a complementary element to our business, but without changing what the essence is of La Buvette,” La Buvette’s co-owner, and Dom’s wife, Hayley Lentz says.

 

The concept is the result of uncertain trading circumstances during COVID-19 and was devised at a point when Dom and Hayley weren’t sure when it would be viable for their business to trade.

With all licensed venues able to serve alcohol without the accompaniment of food from Monday, 1 June, La Buvette will return to trade the same day as Matinal launches (sometime between Wednesday and Friday this week), but the new concept is necessary in allowing the business to justify reopening as physical distancing requirements remain in place.

“It was actually something we had wanted to do in the past, but waiting for the right time,” Hayley says.

“We saw a gap in the market, I guess, in our street, because a business in our street that did sell coffee did close down prior to COVID coming on.

“The food element of the business is something we’ve always wanted to increase, but we haven’t wanted to change La Buvette into a restaurant either, so it’s always been how do we get that feel right?

“Because takeaway is a good way to ease into the market… and the way people are wanting to go back but not necessarily the way they used to, we could just try it in an easier fashion.”

Although the concept will grow and adapt to our re-emerging city, Hayley says it isn’t her intention for Matinal to become a suburban-style all-day eatery.

“We envisage that cool sitting out the front, by yourself, with your coffee and your croissant, with your newspaper, with a quick breakfast, or as a little group,” she says.

“We can see people sitting and mingling, but that there’s a moving trade with it, that people aren’t really sitting still.”

Both La Buvette and Matinal will reopen this week, sometime between Wednesday and Friday (check their Facebook page for updates), with Matinal trading 7am ‘til around 3pm, and La Buvette kicking on from 4pm.

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