The Stew: An Espresso Bar in Lane Cove



WORDS | Jack Cameron Stanton

Why start anywhere else? At Story, the coffee is wonderful. Owner Jean Demirjian concocts his own bean blend, which changes seasonally. The flat white has a satisfying creaminess that doesn’t detract from notes of full-bodied chocolate and toffee bitterness. The espresso, modestly served in a demitasse cup, erupts with juicy fruitiness balanced by rich caramel and faint glimpses of spice.

Since 2012, Story has risen from a few cushioned milk crates to the coffee destination in Lane Cove. A trail of circular tables, pastel coloured stools and French foldable chairs sprawl from the hole-in-the-wall barista den out to a wooden bar stretching invitingly along the pavement. The atmosphere is electrified by good-vibes and friendliness, echoing from person to person. Revel in a spirited community as the white noise of the coffee machine fires and froths away.

While some people lounge outside, others embrace the Italian mentality, ‘swift coffee and conversation,’ by ducking inside for a stand-up coffee at the bar. Outside, an older man, ordering espresso after espresso, reads the paper and pats his dog. A suit plays peek-a-boo with his baby girl. Young mothers drift in and out. And scoundrels like myself are warmly welcomed.

Using fifteen years of barista and managerial experience, Jean infuses Surry Hills/Melbournian styles of roasting with the European ambience Australian coffee-drinkers crave.


Trading hours:

Mon-Fri: 6:30am – 3pm

Sat: 7am-2pm