New Lease of Life For Melbourne CBD Laneway Icon

Posted on 23rd March 2022

A Melbourne CBD laneway icon has a new lease of life.

The site of Degraves Espresso, which has welcomed countless Melburnians and tourists on its way to becoming a stalwart of Melbourne CBD’s world-famous laneway coffee culture, has been leased to the operator of neighbouring venue The Quarter.

It will continue operating under the famous Degraves Espresso name.

Fitzroys Associate Director - Agency, James Lockwood negotiated the off-market lease of 23-25 Degraves Street at $145,000 per annum plus outgoings and GST, on a long five-year deal with three five-year options. The business name and all equipment were included in the terms.

The 60sqm café space is being fitted out and an opening is anticipated in the coming weeks.

“The Degraves Espresso name has a huge amount of goodwill associated with it,” Lockwood said.

“It’s the archetypal Melbourne laneway café. It holds a special place in the city’s celebrated laneway culture.”

Lockwood said the competitive campaign and the long-term lease conditions reflected the huge faith operators have in the location.

“The new operator has been in hospitality for more than 30 years and knows the area very well. They’re confident the CBD will return in a big way.

“Enquiries came from not just CBD operators, but other operators within Degraves Street and the immediate surrounds. It shows the enduring strength and appeal of Degraves Street as a hospitality destination.”

Degraves Espresso occupies two shopfronts in the iconic laneway that connects Flinders Street and Flinders Lane. It was originally opened in 1996 by Con Christopoulos, who now owns the European, City Wine Shop and Spring Street Grocer, among other venues.

The venue’s prime position in Degraves Street attracts countless Melburnians and tourists for coffee, lunch and people-watching, with the café perched close to the entrance of Flinders Street Station.

“People have been waiting to have those quintessential Melbourne experiences again and are voting with their feet. Busy weekends in the CBD have returned and weekday pedestrian traffic is rebounding as people get used to the ‘COVID-normal’ environment,” Lockwood said.