Open seven days a week, Neighbour is the café Newtown has been waiting for. Situated in the Boom Gallery just off Pakington Street, it has been likened to the Picker’s Union as a destination café that offers an experience unlike any other in Geelong.
Neighbour, which launched in September this year, is the brain child of Sam Zaid and Will Moyle who are no strangers to the rigours of hospitality, having earned their collective stripes at a wealth of venues including Coffee Cartel, Little Green Corner, Hot Chicken Project and Terindah Estate, as well as various bars overseas. Although the majority of their experience lies in bars and restaurants, Sam, who moved from Tasmania three years ago after recognising Geelong’s enormous potential, relishes the new opportunity. “It’s really been a breath of fresh air.”
And a breath of fresh air it is!
The high ceilings and industrial décor is accentuated with natural light and a meticulously chosen playlist of music accentuates the chilled-out vibe. With retro shopping also on offer, Sam wants Neighbour to be recognised as a destination café. Alongside the adjoining Boom Gallery, Neighbour is situated in the artistic hub of Newtown’s south end, in amongst burgeoning furniture workshops and art studios.
“We just want Neighbour to be a destination for people to come, where everyone knows each other and you can just chill out all day,” he smiles.
Neighbour boasts a menu that is seasonal by design. With the aim of offering a wealth of culinary delights, including everything savoury and sweet. Sam describes co-owner and head chef Will Moyle as a perfectionist who constantly studies his craft and isn’t afraid to experiment with dishes to excite the tastebuds.
While enjoying their successes is a part of the plan, the boys are already thinking about the bigger picture. “It’s been nice to have a little bit of success behind us now, so we could extend the kitchen space to produce more food.” But what about the future for Neighbour?
“Well, gaining a liquor license is next for us. But collaboration is important to us as well; we’re looking to pair up with local artists, furniture makers and clothing labels to bring that destination feel to the area.”
Neighbour is located at 11 Rutland Street, Newtown and is open Monday to Friday 8am to 4pm, Saturday 9am to 4pm and Sunday 9am to 3pm.
Written by Daniel Jubb