The writing on the front window says SHFTY CHEV. I was initially puzzled. My friend, whose father likes hot rods, thought it was a reference to vintage American cars but it’s really a cheese cafe and bar called Shifty Chevre. It’s new on Brunswick St on the corner of Rose St (opposite Bimbo Deluxe). Cafe by day, bar by night (when the liquor license is approved).
I wanted it to be good because the balance of businesses on the northern end of Brunswick St has been precarious of late. For all the optimism of big investments like Naked for Satan / Naked on the Roof and, more recently, the big new Chocolateria San Churro, that kind of style has been relatively lacking north of Johnston St. In this context it’s good to see Cider House established and seemingly popular.
It was good. The coffee, my usual long macchiato ($3.50), was lovely. The basic croque monsieur (a very modest $6) was generous with the bechamel and nutmeg and was most pleasing. So a quality breakfast is possible for under $10 (that’s impressive considering that $4 is the coffee price at other new places like Major Major). There’s a vegetarian croque monsieur too and baguettes for lunch. A wide cabinet is full of cheese to purchase and take home.
And it has style. There’s lots to look at in the cafe / shop (in the space of a former clothes shop) and it has a variety of spaces and seating arrangements. It should be cute at night. The contemporary requirement for suspended naked lightbulbs is all very well but, for a tall person sitting on a stool at a bench, they end up distractingly close to your head. Accessibility appears to be good as there is no step at the entrance (there is a shallow ramp) and you pay at a low counter. I didn’t visit the toilets.
I try to do background research before visiting a new place, but sometimes I find this discouraging. Googling ‘SHFTY CHEV’ (which was all anyone could see at first) produced nothing and it was only once they opened that I learned their proper name. Whoever did the copy writing for their website needs to be drowned in fondue because the incorrect apostrophes in ‘baguette’s’ and ‘croque monsieur’s’ (sic) make the business look amateurish. And there’s no opening hours. Customers never want to know that.
It also contains a common online marketing mistake, where the website advertises something that does not exist, which in this case is a Twitter account. There was no listing in Suburbanspoon at the time of writing this post. Let’s call their approach ad hoc. You don’t have to call in the advertorial army, such as Boredsheet, to promote a new food business. But it helps to work through these things in an orderly and strategic manner. Fortunately this can be easily fixed, and possibly even forgiven.
I will not go there everyday. I will not go there everyday. I will not go there everyday…