Buried within the bustle of Melbourne’s CBD, there’s a discreet sign sitting at the bottom of a humble staircase; it’s labeled ‘Captains of Industry’. While the signage may be modest, the space it represents is oozing with personality.
The airy landing at the top of the stairs is home to a cosy café complete with sewing machine-based dining tables, rustic wooden furniture and eclectic knick knacks. Branching off this space are the individual workrooms of tailor Thom Grogan, shoemaker James Roberts and hairdresser Steven Blick (aka Herr Blick).
Here you’ll find a one-stop-shop for all your gentlemanly needs. And what’s more, café dining has been added to the mix to enrich the experience (although, it’s been noted that some make return visits just for the food!)
The idea to open Captains of Industry arose when Thom and James were researching a space where they could work together and collaborate with other like minded people. They soon met Blick and decided to incorporate a café into their services to present customers with a uniquely rounded retail experience.
James Roberts explains that, “It’s important that everyone who visits has a good time because we don’t get a lot of street traffic, it’s all word of mouth, so it’s important they tell their friends about us and come back again.”
The clever merging of retail services and hospitality encourages visitors to stick around and sip a latte (and soon to be whisky, with talks of a bar opening) while waiting for their shoe fitting, suit alteration or hair cut.
Roberts hopes that the future of Captains of Industry involves further collaboration with other makers and the expansion of their range.
Somehow though, it seems clear that no matter what the future holds for Captains of Industry, this style hub holds a very sturdy place within Melbourne’s cultural landscape.
Have you been? What do you think? Tell us below…
Captains of Industry
Photography by Giang Cao –