Stepping inside ‘Patricia’, the tiny tucked-away café in the heart of Melbourne’s city law precinct, at 4pm one afternoon, the line out the door and around the corner should have been a dead giveaway.
Designed by Foolscap Studio in collaboration with Beyond the Pixel who created the graphics, Patricia takes you back to 1930s New York, where the cafés are standing room only and the surroundings decidedly Art Deco.
According to Foolscap Studio, it took just five months to transform the space into its exquisite form today, using just the right amount of white porcelain, marble and brass to ooze an understated elegance.
Everything from the oversized timber window nooks with gold foil embellished edging on the glass, to the elaborate cornices and even the staff uniforms have all been carefully conceived and honed to tell a story.
A gold-rimmed marble display cabinet showcasing a delicate selection of sweets greets you on arrival, which then turns into a marble bar running the length of the space.
Business folk gravitate towards the newspaper cabinet towards the end of the room, while others simply stand at the bar to await their coffee. It’s hard not to get swept away in this achingly beautiful interior space and imagine you are sipping on your coffee in a vastly different time.
But then, just when you think you have Patricia well and truly pegged as paying homage to a bygone era, a quick glance up to the expansive high ceilings reveals a huge pink neon sign screaming ‘Sunshine’ back down on you.
It’s enough to bring a smile to your face and then the penny drops….it’s not so much one definable element that has patrons clambering down the door at 4pm for their Patricia fix, but more that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.