On the long bent-elbow of Glen Osmond Rd, lined with lingerie shops and baby-wear boutiques, Bar 9 keeps the sexed-up and sleep-deprived well caffeinated. Glen Osmond eventually becomes the highway to Melbourne, and Bar 9 has read more than a few pages of that city's biography: communal tables, hipsters in cardigans, bewhiskered baristas and bloody great coffee.
An ambitious crew of 20-somethings opened Bar 9 across the road a few years ago, but its mix of potent coffee, winning breakfasts and nifty tea blends soon required bigger premises – all the way across the street. Success breeds success: when we visited, the new joint had two holes-in-the-wall knocked through to the adjacent shopfront. Imminent expansion! But that's tomorrow: today's Bar 9 is a haven for bean fiends and big-breakfast eaters.
If you can get in the door (there are regular queues) pull up a stool in the streetside window and make like a mannequin in the morning rays. Or commune with the cloth caps and sip Adelaide Hills' Auldwood apple juice outta jam jars with holes cut in the lids (it kinda works). There's a giant mugshot of pixelated (over-caffeinated?) James Dean on the wall, and canvases of Mick Jagger circa 1971 strewn about but the real gas is in the kitchen out the back.
The breakfast special of white-bean ragout with caraway seeds, bay leaf and chewy chorizo flaked with almonds and salty parmesan is served with a luscious roll of Berkshire bacon on rye and two perfectly poached eggs. Or, scramble them with silky field mushrooms nudged with sage, zaatar and grilled haloumi. These guys only use whole ingredients (ethically and locally sourced, of course) and service is also top-notch.
Along the wall from James Dean, a barista's blackboard is devoted to tasting notes on the day's coffee offerings. You might fancy a ristretto, a piccolo latte or a cortado from artisan roaster 5 Senses coffee. Another surprise is the wordy, impassioned menu of teas from London-based Canton Tea Co (www.cantonteaco.com): anyone for some organically grown, whole-leaf Egyptian peppermint, or some excellently named Taipei Pouchong, oxidised to 11%?
OK, so maybe Bar 9 sound like they're a little too close to their material, but they really are into it and it really is working. Just ask those single-gear singles lined up out the front.