Have you met Ben Williamson from Battle?
He recently opened a café in Blackburn North, which is the suburb he grew up in. In fact, this space once housed the milkbar he would frequent as a child. After a stint in the London and Berlin coffee scene, working for roasters such as The Barn, and Workshop; Ben returned home to have a crack at his hometown. His first café marks both his coming of age in the Melbourne coffee scene, and a tribute to the history of the area in which it is located. The name Nunawading, is derived from an Aboriginal word meaning battlefield. A short lesson in history reveals that the traditional custodians of the land considered the area sacred grounds.
Today, it’s a growing region with young families, and some familiar faces that recognise Ben from his childhood days. Many hands made Battle possible, with friends and family facilitating the fit out. Soft timber tones, pops of peach, concrete benches, white steel features, and old school chairs seamlessly assembled to create the fresh interior that feels much like the local living room.
The aim was to bring the kind of coffee Melbournians have become accustomed to in the inner city, to the suburbs, and do it with no pretention. The menu is as simple as the fit out. Ben is currently serving pastries and toasties, and plans to have a small menu with a European twist, which will include share style plates.
Coffee is sourced from Inglewood, with rotating singles from roasters such as Acoffee.
Find Battle at 1 5/7 Diana Drive, Blackburn North. Open bright and early for a 6am start weekdays, and from 7am to 2pm on weekends.