Sunday, 3 July 2011

Muse Espresso

Chris Quinn is the brains behind the operation at Muse Espresso, a small café and takeaway at
98 Patrick Street
on the outskirts of the city. I popped in there earlier this week following a few months of wondering about the business, and how they survived, and who their clientele was.

It’s a small space easily managed by a sole staff member all week, but come the traditional Hobart-brekky-eating-out days of Saturday and Sunday mornings, requires one person solely in the kitchen, and another to man (or woman) the coffee machine out front, and care for the customers.

Chris is a refugee from working at such well-known brekky spots as Macquarie Food Store, Lansdowne Café, and Zum Café, so now is fulfilling his dream of working hard for himself and producing food to be proud of. He keeps a watchful eye on what the trends are interstate, and blends suggestions of what is happening there with what our own locals prefer to eat. For instance, he says you rarely find an Eggs Benedict on a menu in Melbourne, but here in Hobart there would be a revolution if that particular menu item was not to be found.

Everything on Chris’ menu is of top quality, featuring Villino coffee, Jackman and McRoss sourdough bread, free range eggs etc. He does his own beans which are elegantly served too, by the way. I very much enjoyed what I ate there, as well as the general buzz of the place. His chief clientele are staff from nearby schools, businesses and the RACT, which is down the block further. While I was there, the cafe was continually turning over customers at most tables, which was good to see.

Chris started up his business having bought most of his required equipment outright, so not owing anyone anything - which is a huge advantage for a small business. Only having to pay a rent payment out of your weekly profits is the most sensible and responsible way to trade, after you've paid your food and staffing costs. With negligible staffing required for this small business, Chris' costs are indeed minimal.

The average prices for breakfast range from $5 - $14, with lunches ranging from $10 - $13.50.

The hours of operation are:
Mon – Fri, 7.30 – 4.00
Sat, 8 – 3
Sun, 9 - 2

 Pictured above, Poached eggs with smashed peas and basil ($11)

Posted on by Rita


Anonymous said...

Looks like a great spot.

Interesting comments you make about purchasing equipment outright.

SO many businesses I know have leased everything, the business starts with no money... And ends with no money a few years later.

Why small business owners don't start there business with some cash in the bank sure beats me, has no one ever heard of high interest bank accounts?

Put $15,000 in for a year @ 6% an the bank will be paying you $80 a month.. for a few years. it adds up.

The commonsense thing to do is buy stuff outright. Otherwise, you end up paying twice as much.

Anonymous said...

Oooh, I do love Muse. As a nearby resident, I am proud to call it my local. Sometimes the coffee isn't as strong as I'd like it, and they do that stacking thing with bread and eggs which is most annoying, but it really is a lovely spot with regular exciting specials.

Anonymous said...

Home Hill also clsosed for a month!

Anonymous said...

John Caires Pizza place in Sandy Bay also closed for a month.

Not a bad idea really in this climate!

Anonymous said...


Allison said...

I tried to go to Muse for lunch on a Saturday a couple of months back and there was next to no food left to choose from on the menu.
We left and enjoyed a great lunch at Chrome instead!
Haven't been back to attempt round 2!

chris@muse said...

Hey Allison. Sorry to hear you came in and there wasn't much to choose from. Being a small place we try to prep things as frequently as possible so that you get the freshest possible produce. Its possible we just had a really busy day, thus running out of a lot of things. Pop back in and introduce yourself and I will be sure to look after you. Chris, Muse Espresso

Duck Leg said...

One of my favourites!! I have been there a couple of times now and love that it is simple and well done.
I would love to see Eggs benedict disappear from menu's. Get creative people.

Madge said...

Hands off the eggs benedict! I love my comfort food, especially in the depths of a cold winter. And it gives us less adventurous foody people something to fall back on when we can't even pronounce the offerings on the menu. (A pet hate of mine is having to point at the menu and say, "I'll have that"...) It's bad enough at dinner when I am reduced to cab sav and sav blonk (don't even get me to spell voyyner, much less say it with a French flourish!)