When it comes to Australia’s cafe culture, there’s no denying the standards are high. To meet those expectations, the cafe experience in clubs is being redefined – from the coffee and food offering through to the fitout – to restaurant-quality standards. 

At the Norths Leagues Club in Kallangur, Queensland, the club completely overhauled its cafe as part of its decade-long modernisation project.

“Apart from the original cafe location, everything has changed,” according to Norths Leagues marketing manager James Bennett.

The Avenue cafe was revealed at the end of last year, and with it a new menu was introduced. It features Asian-inspired dishes, including banh mi, rice paper rolls and katsu curry, along with classic favourites such as steak sandwiches, beef nachos, and toasted sandwiches. There is also a full breakfast offering with Belgian waffles, Spanish-baked eggs, and eggs benedict.

“When you think of a traditional cafe menu in clubs, you think of burgers, chips, toasties, raisin toast, and classic roast meals. We’ve really tried to elevate the experience of the menu, so it reflects the decor,” Bennett said.

“The chef has somehow created these incredible dishes, but still at a price point that members would expect from a cafe.”

Like the food menu, The Avenue cafe has elevated its coffee offering by giving patrons a choice between two house blends. There’s the original signature blend, which is described by Bennett as being so strong it “puts hairs on your chest”, and a new blend called Hometown that’s softer, mellower, and sweeter.

“The feedback we’re getting from our patrons has been extremely positive, in particular from one of our regulars,” said Bennett. “He would only order a half-strength [coffee], so we offered him the Hometown, and now it’s his choice every day.”

Norths Leagues general manager Troy Young believes The Avenue compliments the club’s flagship restaurant, The Precinct, which opened three years ago and was awarded the Keno and Clubs Queensland Award for Best Dining in 2022 and 2023.

“We’ve had such success in our catering operation through The Precinct, and we’ve had to look at opportunities to see how we could expand because we simply can’t fit anymore for The Precinct restaurant, so there was an opportunity there to boost revenue sources and increase our capacity through the cafe, The Avenue,” he said.

With the belief the offering at The Avenue is unique, the club has started running weekend breakfast, where it opens earlier than the rest of the club to offer breakfast favourites at a competitive price point, such as $10.90 for eggs on toast or a granola bowl. 

“I believe there is a big opportunity out here in Moreton Bay. If you want to go out for breakfast around the area, there’s not all that many options, and I think the area deserves it,” Young added.

This is as an extract of a feature from Club Management Autumn 24. You can read the full story below.

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