Slowpoke Cafe by Sasufi


Slowpoke by Sasufi

This Melbourne cafe by French designer Sasufi features a 12 metre-long wall covered in timber offcuts.

Slowpoke Cafe by Sasufi

Tabletops at the Slowpoke Cafe are made from recycling floorboards and other furniture was sourced from local flea markets.

Slowpoke Cafe by Sasufi

Wider blocks protruding from the wooden wall above each table create shelves for condiments.

Slowpoke Cafe by Sasufi

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Slowpoke Cafe by Sasufi

The following information is from Sasufi:

Slowpoke Cafe by Sasufi

Anne-Sophie Poirier is a French born and Melbourne based designer working under the name of Sasufi. She has recently completed the interior design and identity for Slowpoke Espresso, a café located in one of Melbourne's most popular suburb, Fitzroy.

Slowpoke Cafe by Sasufi

The budget being very small, it was a challenge to give the space a cozy feel and a strong identity while not having much money to do so.

Slowpoke Cafe by Sasufi

The 12 meters long feature wall was created from timber offcuts collected from a variety of local furniture makers who use recycled timber themselves.

Slowpoke Cafe by Sasufi

The variety of timbers species enhances the depth and warmth of the wall, giving a homely feel to the room.

Slowpoke Cafe by Sasufi

The clean white walls also give the timber elements more prominence in the space.

Slowpoke Cafe by Sasufi

Every so often a shelf comes out of the wall to display sugar bowls and salt above the tables.

Slowpoke Cafe by Sasufi

Most building materials (tiles, lamp shades, street sign etc…) were gathered from local flea  markets.

Slowpoke Cafe by Sasufi

The tables are made of recycled timber floors.

Slowpoke Cafe by Sasufi

The sign is lite from the inside by a torch lamp that is charged by a connected solar panel sitting on the top of the recycled wooden tool box.

Slowpoke Cafe by Sasufi

The business cards are made from recycled packaging cardboards, hand cut and then stamped.

Slowpoke Cafe by Sasufi

The café serves quality organic food and coffee with a smile.

Slowpoke Cafe by Sasufi

  • I honestly don't know if the wall lined with re-purposed wood helps to make the room feel 'cozy'. If I want to eat or take a beverage somewhere, first I would like that place to look clean and sanitary.

    • woodchuck

      You just described how I like a hospital…

      • I'm sorry, but I stand by my comment. Taking a closer look at the wood, some of it looks way too dirty. Would you like to have lunch in a carpenter's workshop or a lumberyard?

        There has to be a balance between a 'raw' untreated look, and tidiness.

        • As I design and build my furniture I often eat in my workshop. Sawdust never hurt anybody. That aside what you are seeing isn't dirt, but burn marks from saws, rip marks from saws, aged wood from the sun, some with ruff spots, etc. Trust me, there is nothing unsanitary about the wood. Educate yourself and know that there is more stuff in the grout on your kitchen floor than there ever will be in the wood.

          • >Sawdust never hurt anybody.

            "Wood dust has several hazards associated with exposure to it in the workplace. In general, exposure to excessive amounts is considered to have an irritant effect on eyes, nose and throat in addition to pulmonary function impairment and is considered a human carcinogen. Western red cedar dust has also been shown to cause asthma. Significant accumulations of fine particles of wood dust can also be a fire and explosion hazard in the workplace. The following web pages list different types of woods and provide information about each one and how they may affect humans. "

            FYI I'm *not* saying the costumers of this Cafe are going to have health issues due to the re-purposed wood. Personally, I didn't find the end result pleasing, but considering the response my original comment receive, it certainly seems I'm in the minority —which is fine by me ;)

          • daa

            i guess there is no sawdust in the place after finalising the interior construction works… besides wood has natural 'poisons' which do not allow harmful bacteria to inhabit it.

          • Well, there’s always one like you.

        • NOLAbhoy53

          I don't think it's fair to presume that the materials are unsanitary just because they have a rugged appearance. We may be arguing a matter of pure personal preference here, but I prefer to eat in spaces that feel warm and earthy rather than cold and sterile. And for the record, there is not necessarily any correlation between a space's design aesthetic and its actual cleanliness.

          • >And for the record, there is not necessarily any correlation between a space's design aesthetic and its actual cleanliness.

            No argument there :)

        • Soph_Goes_Twang

          I’d love to have lunch in a lumberyard! What a great idea for a cafe.

  • This is a brilliant use of reclaimed materials – and a great way to reign in start-up costs. And I must say, that olive toast with ricotta sounds delicious!

    • leeseungho

      Did you know there is a hip of using reclaimed materials, that makes people give up restoration works or keeping old building as they are? Old bricks being more expensive makes people break down old buildings. The brilliant use of reclaimed materials is fancy facade of new fashion that will go away sooner or later.

      • NOLAbhoy53

        For the most part, reclaimed materials come from buildings (or parts of them) that were torn down for other reasons. No one tears down old brick buildings solely for the purpose of using the bricks somewhere else. Recycled building materials are used as they have been in this café because the only other option would be throw the materials away.

  • gerrrg

    That is just weird…Starbucks just remodeled a store on NW Burnside in Portland, Oregon, that uses that same motif of scrap wood ends and pieces, albeit echoing Oregon’s history of being a timber state.

  • Aaron

    And that is why they invented Starbucks. For the rest of us this is a very appealing option.

  • rdmn

    Hey this is beautiful. That sign is lush and I reckon wood is about the greatest material ever, it makes everything feel calm. What a dinky little place. If I drank coffee I'd go there and drink coffee.

    • rjc

      agreed. wood is the most beautiful and calm earthy material to us

  • Russell

    Sounds like Red Pill Junkie needs a good dose of Melbourne – this place looks awesome. The white chairs + the wooden wall are fantastic. I’ll be sure to grab a coffee next time I’m going past.

  • Scrooge

    Oooh nice design alright, but "Olive toast with ricotta, roast cherry tomatoes and herbs – $10" is what's going to stop me going there….

  • rock

    cute. but $10 for toast?

  • Hercule Poirot

    In 1976 we did the same in the local youth club. Without an architect. And like thousands of others all over the world still do. No big deal.

  • polly

    "…..while not having much money to do so."

    ten dollar toast should clear that problem right up.

  • kate

    These photos are incredible. I live just around the corner from this cafe and walked in (rather going to my usual place) because of the reclaimed wood wall. And the toast is heavenly!

  • I do love the idea of matching the name Slowpoke Cafe with this sense of rustic imagery that you take your time to enjoy and take in, as well as the idea that you could amble through a flee market to find these pieces in the same way you might take in a lazy morning in this cafe. Love the wood and all the small, natural details as well as the reclaimed pieces from flee markets – it creates such a great story behind the ambiance and materiality. Certainly the taste may not be for everyone, but I think it looks beautiful and whether it was design by an architect or not, it deserves a place here for evaluation and inspiration. Well done!

  • helenthornber

    I think this is great, and I can imagine you could recreate it in a home too. It would look great in a large kitchen diner, or perhaps a hallway. Definite inspiration!

  • Sam

    offcuts? from where the ark?

  • Karin

    Reminds me of Wonderwall Studios by Doing

  • Sawdust was used in pubs for years. Sustainable, woody, bricolage effect, love it.

    • Hercule Poirot

      In Belgium they rather used grey sand on the floor. Sometimes clever café-owners added salt to it so that customers get more thirsty and spent more money in their place. Of course this practice stopped after second World War as the average income in Belgium made it possible to get drunk every day.

  • NOLAbhoy53

    Simultaneously modern and rustic. Very creative solution. I love it!

  • Congratulations to Uscha Van Banning, design credit should also go to you for this beautiful timber work.

  • Bill

    I like it. Reminds me of "Swig" in Milwaukee designed by Flux Design

  • Its wonderful! I could stare at the wood all day. Weird comments about it being insanitary! However do they cope when they go for a picnic I wonder?!

  • lozzerg

    It’s fantastic. The food sounds brilliant and the place is beautiful. If you have the ingenuity, skill and effort to make something like this, you deserve to make a living too, so the price doesn’t seem unreasonable either. If people want crap food, they can go somewhere crap and pay less for it. Why has your site attracted quite so many bitter, grumpy gits? Well done!

  • Naimit

    I hope they keep a box of complementary alcohol pads on the counter for everyone who harpoons themselves on that lovely, natural pin cushion of a wall. I mean, yes, how natural! Pretty! But we finish wood surfaces for a reason, people.

  • Mark

    I agree with you red pill junkie. I don’t care for it and would not enjoy the inevitable job of cleaning that wall. As a smaller art piece, I think it could work.

    What I find telling is the attitudes of your detractors. So typical of people who self congratulate for being “wise” enough to spend $10 for organic toast. You red pill, must go to re-education camp in order to comprehend the virtuous sustainability of this place. Blame the customers, that’s always a good marketing strategy.

    And as for my own bona fides, I had my first organic garden in 1978, and lived for two years in the mountains of Maine with no running water, bathing in a lamp-lit wood fired sauna. It was fun, but I’m glad I grew up.