Daniel and his team transform the cafe into a lively, inviting space.
Gooley’s is the new nighttime destination hosted in a spot familiar to any discerning coffee drinker.
Whilst Cartel Coffee Roasters on James street is usually serving up espresso and kombucha during the day, Daniel Gooley and his team have transformed the store into a functioning bar to get the night started with an interesting selection of house-recipes and twists on old favorites.
- Gooley’s is a new bar hosted at Cartel Coffee
- They offering an interesting selection of cocktails
- Open 5 – 10 pm Friday and Saturday nights
For those unaware, Daniel Gooley is a long-time barista, having grit his teeth at several cafés around Geelong, including Cartel, but now resides at Paddington Café in Belmont. The first weekend actually saw Molly and Tom, owners of Paddington, help out behind the bar. Suffice to say it was incredibly odd seeing the people who generally serve me coffee of a Wednesday morning outside of that context, sort of like seeing your teacher from high school at the shops.
Gooley’s intention is to create a space full of lively conversation and is filled with his passions, the eclectic menu, the serving of bar nuts and pretzels, and re-runs of The Simpsons and Cowboy Bebop on the plasma all match the vintage-nostalgia vibe Gooley is going for.
The bar is open on Friday and Saturday nights, from 5 pm to 10 pm, enough time to get in and say hello, grab a drink, and move on with your night. Speaking of, whilst Gooley’s offers a selection of classic drinks to try out, the highlight here is the lovingly crafted menu with a handful of Gooley originals.
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I tried a Miss Smith whilst I was there, a tarty blend of Sipsmith London Dry Gin, Plymouth Sloe Gin (which gives the drink it’s signature pink colouring), Elderflower, and a slice of lime. The drink is named after Gooley’s partner, who after being introduced to I can assure you she isn’t nearly as sour as the drink. The drink itself is incredibly bright, with the sloe gin contributing much of the flavour here as well as the colour, as it is a gin-based drink there are also floral notes as well as incredible amounts of citrus. Even if you aren’t a gin drinker, I implore you to try.
As well as cocktails, it bought a smile to my face to see the fridge stocked with the whole Colonial Brewing range. The North Melbourne brewery has made a name for itself with a wide range, easily identifiable packaging, and craft beer flavours that don’t scare off the average consumer. Usually, I might go for the IPA or the draught in the range, but tonight I went for the South West Sour, a brew that stems from the breweries’ West Australian branch. The fruity drink offers a sweet body and a lightly acidic finish, and best of all comes in a bright pink can (a bit of a running theme so far).
I finished off my stay with a classic gin and tonic, which to my surprise, was served with a giant chunk of cucumber wedged in the middle. I didn’t quite catch the type of gin used, but I can assure you it’s not the usual nail polish that I’ve experienced from other bars and nightclubs. After tasting the generally muted flavour of a cucumber lifted by alcohol and tonic water, I’m interested in replicating the drink at home (not that making a G&T is rocket science if you can say it you can make it as they say).
To sum up my experience, despite not knowing a soul in the room, I felt right at home. Staff were constantly checking if I had enough to drink, the pretzels were being restocked, and even the other patrons were friendly. The music was good too, with the volume being high enough to hear it but not drown out any potential conversation you might be having. Gooley’s is a bar that invites you to drink, and with a selection of cocktails this good, how could you not?
Gooley’s is open from 5 pm – 10 pm Friday and Saturday nights, accepts walk-ins and is found at 1/80 Little Malop St, in the Cartel Coffee building
Check out their Instagram here from the menu and any news.