FOM (Friends of Mine) Cafe: Great community vibe

Enjoy quality espresso & food in Melbourne. Discover a constant flow of locals & a great community vibe in this 19th century Richmond cafe.
Friends of Mine is an eclectic cafe designed to provide Melbourne with delicious food & amazing coffee in a comfortable environment.

Melbourne is without question my favourite city!  Having lived there in the past, for over a decade it is my default style and lifestyle indicator; the depth of cultural experiences is legendary: actually, there are art galleries, a glut of 19th century terraces and fashion & design stores on every corner in the inner city environs.  Fitzroy, Collingwood and Richmond just some of the cases in point.

Many of the original single fronted terrace houses or shop corners remain extant such as that housing the Richmond icon, FOM (Friends of Mine) café.

Courtesy of the way suburbs evolved in 19th century Melbourne, travellers into culture, history and architecture can walk the narrow side streets and this wonderful aspect of Melbourne’s past is revealed both idiosyncratically and in depth. 

Moreover, Melbourne is known for its trams so witness this rich architectural and social history via a tram ride; they run grid like across these suburbs at regular intervals.

Melbourne also stands out for quality café experiences, a surfeit of which can be found in Richmond, a suburb which allows, on its western side, a 10 to 15 minute walk to the CBD.

FOM ticks all the boxes – great coffee, innovative food options, an amazing community vibe + creative welcoming interiors.

As mentioned, the cafe occupies an old corner house (or, perhaps at one time a store) in Swan Rd; a stone’s throw from the National Gallery Victoria (NGV), Melbourne tennis centre and Melbourne’s infamous MCG.

On the surface what makes FOM’s unique interior exciting and accessible is due in part to the original building which forms an important element of the aesthetic; it is a prime reason for the laid back engaging atmosphere.  The eclectic interiors united with the social history of the building add charm and homeliness in ways sparkling new cafes are unable to project.

The interiors inspire a community spirit because there is a feeling they have evolved over time like the local Richmond community. The perfectly scruffy mood speaks to all age groups, ethnicities and social types and they invite a sense of “come as you are” – a kind of home-away-from-home destination.

The chandelier in company with industrial pendants, the worn timber side board and exposed bricks contribute to multifarious stories that go back centuries while now commenting in invigorating ways on contemporary life in Richmond.

But! There’s more!  You can also hire out the space and host an event; what better way to celebrate with a small intimate gathering of friends in a building that has existed since Melbourne was known as Marvellous Melbourne in the 1880s – a fitting tribute to this intriguing building and fascinating part of the city!

A day in the life of!

Staying in Richmond with family, we walk to FOM for breakfast before heading over to the NGV.

The menu is creative and the choice is heartening.  I quickly decide on Golden folded eggs with goat cheese and a freshly squeezed Richmond Refresher with carrot, apple, celery and ginger!  It arrives first, iced cold and is exceptionally good!

The other half is a bit hung over – so he decides to have, well –  The Hung Over – eggs, bacon and avo on cheesy herb toast  /  hearty fare sure to settle those toxic gasses!  We typically over imbibe and take coffees to have on the tram and muffins for later.

The NGV promises to be wonderful, it is showing Designing Women until March 24 2019 and Baldessin / Whiteley Parallel Visions until Jan 28 2019.
We head off – sipping our second delicious coffee!
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