TOM WIL­SON

Me­gan Os­borne

GRAM - - Contents - WORDS AND PHO­TOG­RA­PHY ME­GAN OS­BORNE

Ararat Avakian has been in hos­pi­tal­ity for over 15 years. To­gether with his brother Nick, they’ve re­cently opened Tom Wil­son. Fresh off the press, this charm­ing leafy green meets Euro­pean tiling meets mod­ern Mel­bourne cafe is serv­ing up fun foodie fare, from 7am to 3:30pm daily.

Brighton streets were graced with the Avakian flair for run­ning a darn good joint back in 2011, when Olie & Ari set up shop in Were Street. Ever since it’s been a lo­cal favourite. 2014 saw Su­per­ran­dom ar­rive on New Street, well known (and pop­u­lated) by many for its cute and unas­sum­ing jaf­fles and spot on cof­fee.

When asked what he owes his suc­cess to in re­gards to cre­at­ing bustling busi­ness, Ararat Avakian mod­estly states, ‘We don’t take our­selves too se­ri­ously.’ With a laid back menu, the flavours are king, and snob­bery or pre­ten­tious­ness is nowhere to be found (even though it is in Bri­i­i­i­ighton.)

Tom Wil­son—as with Su­per­ran­dom and Olie & Ari—fo­cuses on build­ing a strong re­la­tion­ship with the lo­cal com­mu­nity. This is ap­par­ent when­ever you visit, whether it be for a cheeky cof­fee catch up in the early af­ter­noon, or to brave the crowds for a brekkie (brunch—let’s not kid our­selves, sleep-ins are to­tally un­der­rated) on the week­end. Peo­ple don’t need to come from far and wide for this charm­ing cafe to be busy, and al­though Wil­son Street is not known for it’s foot traf­fic, six weeks since open­ing, it’s def­i­nitely start­ing to pick up!

With­out a doubt we’re slip­ping on our sneak­ers and mosey­ing on down, es­pe­cially when the menu of­fers de­light­ful treats such as Waffles with Nutella cream and pecan brit­tle, or Bene­dict Eggs with slow braised ham hock, cider hol­landaise and a potato hash. For a lunchtime treat, the toasted pi­des are sur­pris­ingly unique, with a stand­out fill­ing of grilled zuc­chini, babghanoush, feta and rocket. Or maybe you’re af­ter some sneaky slid­ers? The Cala­mari with lime mayo buns don’t dis­ap­point. Plus, who doesn’t love them­selves some cor­ni­chons?

Fresh pressed juices are per­fect as the weather is warm­ing up, and Prana Chai fea­tures on a cu­rated and di­verse drinks list, with an in­ten­tion of ex­pand­ing to in­clude liquor—pend­ing li­cens­ing ap­proval. While all th­ese thirst-quench­ing op­tions are ex­cit­ing and en­tic­ing, lets not beat around the bush. We live in Mel­bourne af­ter all, and cof­fee qual­ity is close to many a heart. Thank­fully, the team at Tom Wil­son know their sh…stuff. Al­ter­nat­ing be­tween Su­per­ran­dom and Tom Wil­son, is barista Nobu­masa Shi­moyama, who has not only won Latte Art com­pe­ti­tions in­ter­na­tion­ally (plu­ral in­tended), but has also de­signed the strong and smooth cof­fee served up—the Su­per­ran­dom + Nobu Blend, with beans sourced from Nicaragua and Peru. #lat­teart.

With many happy cus­tomers, and three pop­u­lar cafes pro­vid­ing Brightonites with their food and caf­feine fix, Ararat Avakian tells us they have a fourth Brighton-based project in the works! We’re su­per pumped for the open­ing of Un­cle Ge­orge, which will be lo­cated on Hamp­ton Street—in Brighton, duh! The plan is for a lunch and din­ner­time set up, mix­ing it up a bit with a Mid­dle East­ern and Mediter­ranean style menu. You can ex­pect us there for lunch. And din­ner.

TOM WIL­SON

36 Wil­son Street, Brighton

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