Time Out Melbourne

The daylight incarnation of 99 Problems is a far cheerier place than the name suggests

Photo: Linda Hampton

By day, Collingwood bar 99 Problems is styled after an entirely different song. From 8am to 4pm it operates as a café by the name The Mercy Seat, where light floods in through the large front windows and little succulent plants dot the tables.

Like 99 Problems, The Mercy Seat bears exactly none of the angst of its namesake song, in this case a skin-crawling meditation on punishment by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. Like the bar that takes over the premises at 4pm, it’s a relaxed affair with friendly staff and a great music selection which leans toward the indie end of the spectrum.

The menu is completely vegetarian, with lots of vegan options available. It may sound like a contradiction in terms to say that it’s also strongly influenced by American diner cuisine, but in practice it works brilliantly. The lunch menu includes a faux Philly cheesesteak roll, equally faux Creole chicken burger and not at all faux blackened tofu and mushroom burger piled with salsa and chunks of avocado. Breakfast is available all day for those seeking something a little lighter, and the cake trolley is always worth a squiz (not least because it looks like a Jenga tower on wheels). Coffee by local roasters Padre and a range of soft drinks and smoothies round things out: alternatively, The Mercy Seat is licensed, so you can wash your scrambled eggs down with a glass of wine if you choose.

In its relatively short time in operation, 99 Problems has become a neighbourhood favourite: with the Mercy Seat signage out it’s every bit as relaxed and likable.

First published on . Updated on .

By Una Cruickshank   |  

The Mercy Seat details

Address
31 Johnston St, Collingwood 3066

Telephone 0406 290 353

Transport
Nearby Stations: Victoria Park; Collingwood

Price per person including drinks Up to $50

Open Wed-Sun 8am-4pm

The Mercy Seat website

The Mercy Seat map

Report a problem with this page

Restaurants and bars nearby

99 Problems

99 Problems still has that new bar-smell (it’s a bit like wood shavings),...

Jim's Greek Taverna

51m - This is Greek food at it’s best and even though there is no menu, don’t...

The Horn

63m - That trademark Ethiopian hospitality accompanies a mix of curries laid out...

Bayte

116m - Julie Touma comes from Lebanon – the land of lamb and honey. Which means...

More restaurants and bars nearby

Other venues nearby

Magic Johnston

28m - Magic Johnston is a huge art/design space boasting space for 50 creatives,...

Siren Doll

73m - Every sexy lingerie and lingerie-related accessory you can imagine can be...

Vintage Garage

136m - Hats! Handbags! Homewares! Vintage Garage is a Collingwood boutique that...

More venues nearby
Best dishes

Best dishes

The very best things we put in our mouths this month

Readers' comments, reviews, hints and pictures

Community guidelines

blog comments powered by Disqus