Remember when Brother Burger took over from Retro cafe on Brunswick St three years ago? They began by putting a separate business, La Dulcita latin cafe, on the Brunswick St frontage with the much larger Brother Burger having the far less visible Westgarth St frontage.
La Dulcita closed after a couple of months as Brother Burger realised that hiding itself in plain sight on a busy high street was a nonsensical thing to do. It’s a lesson that KikiRiki Latin Street Food on Smith St should have paid attention to.
It opened less than a year ago with a tiny white, mostly take-away, shopfront with a camouflaged door leading to a much larger bar behind. You could get sandwiches and simple things from the front during the day, when the bar was closed, or at night access either part. But it was too clever for its own good and was not visible enough from the street.
Having a hidden secret venue in a laneway or other unusual space makes sense; hiding something in plain sight on a busy high street does not. People like to see what’s on offer before committing to walking in the door. And so KikiRiki has ripped out the faux shopfront and is redoing the interior using the whole space, thus making the bar visible from the street. It will reopen soon.