It’s funny how the sight of a coffee shop with a beautiful interior can instantly bring a smile to our faces and momentarily add an extra beat to our hearts. The Station is one of the longest established cafes in Wahroonga, originally called Café Laurella, when it opened in 1998. Husband and wife team, George and Emma, decided to add their own flavour to the community of Wahroonga and started this thriving family friendly restaurant. Among the hussle and bussle, we have a quick chat to Emma to ask about their journey and how the interior design of the restaurant unfolded.
VSD: The opening at the street side gives great access to passers by. Was this done during your renovation?
It is one of my favourite aspects of the fit out. I wanted a feature that would be immediately noticable and where it would by easy for passers by to stop and get a take away. At the same time, it acts as a drawing card for people to come inside and see what else is on offer.
VSD: How did you come across the premises?
It was a spot we used to visit as patrons. I have a hospitality background and always wanted to run my own place. We decided that this would be the perfect place to set up our new business.
VSD: How did you change the interior layout when you took over?
The whole interior fit out changed, the only original feature that remained, was the shell of the restaurant. We wanted to have a more efficient layout to fit a more modern time. I feel that, as tastes and trends shift, we need to change with them.
VSD: How did you decide on the colour palette and interior décor and what was the inspiration behind it?
We played around with about 3 different design concepts, but in the end, the finishing touches and décor took up most of our time. I always had an idea that I wanted a simple and bare concept, simplistic, but at the same time striking and warm. With time and patience I managed to gather everything I loved and that eventually enabled me to develop this concept. To see it all working together is a source of great enjoyment today.
At the back of the restaurant, a stunning mural created by Australian artist, Lee Harnden, form a focal point that draws the attention to the back wall. An accent of yellow brings a pop of contrast to the grey and black monochromatic interior.
The Station is filled with interesting textures, with an inviting vertical garden at the entry. The use of timber and woven material above the kitchen area create a welcoming feel to the open plan indoor area.
A large array of delicious treats are available at the front counter and children are welcomed with a colouring book and crayons.
With the help of Chef Ashraf Saleh, the original menu with a Mediterranean twist was sharpened and now has delectable courses such as Shakshuka Arabic scrambled eggs for breakfast and Ras el Hanout spice organic chicken breast for dinner. It’s the perfect place for family gatherings or birthday parties, open to the public for breakfast and lunch from 7am every day and dinner from Thu-Sun. The Station Café is located at 23 Coonanbara Rd, Wahroonga and a fully licensed establishment.
The welcoming staff has a knack for working magic on coffee beans and constant friendly smiles all around. Sleeper wood and pieces of railway line in the bar counter create a great reference to a railway station. This symbolism is further accentuated by the use of concrete flooring, stones and railway style lighting. Emma tells us that these items were sourced from all over the world, some as far as India, but also in our own backyard of Moree in Australia.
Mmm, after all this hard work, I think the Vanilla Girls need a bit of “ME” time… Another cup of coffee, please!
Cheerio ’til next time!
Lyndie & Eriana