The minds behind Katherine’s mainstay cafe the Black Russian Caravan Bar have opened a new venue on the other side of town.
While it sits in the industrial area, the place is already buzzing.
Katherine’s newest cafe –Maiden’s Lane – has been trading for the past few weeks as final touches to the decor were added.
Beyond the shipping container fit out, which houses the large kitchen, and cable reel tables, the venue bears little resemblance to the trading businesses surrounding it.
As the sole cafe in the area, it is set to cater to the growing number of tradies, professionals, shift workers and locals.
Cafe owner Brogan Hanrahan built the welcoming, open space from the ground up.
“What was once a bare tin shed, is now this place where people can come and sit and enjoy something different.
“We started from absolutely nothing.
“I didn’t want anything stark or sterile, we wanted to put a focus on relaxed and intimate vibes, we wanted to build something with character.
“The industrial area gave it a bit of contrast, it is a bit of a mix of old and new” she said.
The journey to the end product was a long drawn out process, the venue had to accommodate both a large kitchen area and a large outdoor seating space – difficult to find in Katherine.
Inside, it is plant-filled and modest, with recycled-timber high tables, artwork covering the blue walls and the occasional flash of white tile giving the space a polished feel.
“There was nothing else in the area in the way of cafes, there are professionals and tradies here who all want coffee,” Ms Hanrahan said.
“We explored spaces in town but nothing had a big outdoor space, and as a Territory kid I grew up in the out doors, in the Territory, being outside is a lifestyle.
“I couldn’t open another place and be stuck inside,” she said.
Just like the Black Russian Caravan is famous for its decked-out toasties, Maiden’s Lane has a signature dish too – American style burgers.
The team behind the new hot spot spent months putting together the perfect menu.
“There is no gourmet burger bar in Katherine, no one else was offering that type of thing and who doesn’t love burgers,” Ms Hanrahan said
Rewriting food rules, head of kitchen Taylor Ackerley made sure to source high-quality, local ingredients to ensure that when she took quirky elements like dumplings and put them in a burger, they really stood out.
“The sauces are hand made, the meat is from a local Katherine butcher and the bread buns are driven down from Darwin,” Ms Hanrahan said.
“To be in business myself, it is important to not outsource.
“We literally put our heart and sole into this project and the best way to show that is through the food,” she said.
The only aspect of the new venue which doesn’t get the locally sourced stamp of approval is the coffee.
Choosing to partner with Campos Coffee, Maiden’s Lane is the first regional town in Australia to house the brand.
Not only is the coffee highly reputable around Australia, Ms Hanrahan said, it is also recognisable, creating a familiar feeling for those relocating for work or just passing through as travellers.
Maiden’s Lane was made possible through the success of the Black Russian Caravan Bar, but it is for the locals.
“We are not seasonal, we are open early for the tradies and the shift workers and we place a huge emphasis on customer service,” Ms Hanrahan said.
Maiden’s Lane is open from 6am to 2pm Monday to Friday and 7am to 2pm Saturday and Sunday.
Located in the industrial area across the road from Hohns Anything Metal, the space can’t be missed with the lines of cars parked out the front.
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