Having occupied the corner of Greeves and Brunswick Streets for almost thirty years, The Black Cat has had plenty of time to get good and settled. Cosy and cluttered, it looks like a large lounge room and has a pleasantly well-established feel.
Filled with a jumble of mismatched light fittings, 70s furniture and seemingly invincible houseplants, it’s bright and relaxed during the daylight hours when most patrons are just seeking a coffee. It’s a nice spot to work or study in, or just to while away an afternoon. Outside, a leafy beer garden occupies the footpath on the Greeves Street side of the building and downright encourages idling. The view of Brunswick Street and its parade of passers-by through the wraparound windows is unbeatable, and the aged couches are famously comfortable.
In the evening the mood changes – the Black Cat makes the transition from café to bar, the music gets louder and red-tinted spotlights lend a hint of late night seediness to the scene after dark. Monday and Tuesday are open deck nights, where aspiring DJs can take control of the Black Cat’s sound system.
The bar is open for business till late seven nights a week, and on weekends is frequently packed with the young and hip. There’s not a great deal available in the way of food – whether its coffee or champagne, the Black Cat is dedicated to liquid refreshment. The beer and wine lists offer a decent amount of variety, and all the basic spirits are covered.
One caveat: the heavily-graffitied, unisex toilets are best avoided – they’re often not a pretty sight (or smell). Minor unpleasantness aside though, The Black Cat is as cosy and relaxed as its namesake animal.