If you’ve driven along the Gold Coast Highway around Mermaid Beach lately, you might have noticed—and stopped for a selfie in front of—a rad, colourful mural that’s covering the front of the former Hula Girl Espresso site. Well the coffee shop might be gone but in its place is Morena Espresso. An absolutely awesome creative hub that’s championing the skills of talented locals as well as serving up some tasty brews.
Morena is the baby of couples, Bel Pesantes and Stefan Bradley, and Jesu Nunez and Javiar Aguilar. This incredible foursome are bringing their diverse backgrounds (Chile, Ecuador and New Zealand) to this corner of the Coast, and we’re stoked about it.
The space is bright and airy with white washed walls, green concrete floors, exposed beams and loads of natural light. There’s cosy nooks and chillout areas as well as a long communal table, perfect for sipping your morning cuppa at. In the far corner is a cinder block bar serving up shakes, cold pressed juices, toasties, acai bowls and brewing Marvell Street Coffee from Byron Bay.
One the team’s biggest passions is celebrating the Coast’s creative community so here you’ll be able to check out and purchase loads of awesome local brands, such as Drift Candles, Alona Alternative Apparel, Kippy Skateboards, Ecua Andino Australia hats and vegan skincare range Rustic Peppermint. Each month there will be a mini art exhibition featuring a local artist and their work. Yep, we recommend hitting this spot up on payday.
Drawing on their diverse backgrounds, Morena Espresso will also be holding Spanish classes, song writing workshops and salsa classes. With guitars and drumkits on site, you can also expect live music in the future and the space can be rented out for gig rehearsals. There’s also plans to open up a deck out the back where you can expect cool, Melbourne alleyway vibes. We already picturing lazy summer drinks with the crew.
Morena Espresso is open Monday to Friday from 6am and Saturdays from 7am.
Looking for more awesome things to do nearby? Check out our round up of the coolest spots in Mermaid Beach.
Image Credit: Kaitlin Rees Photography for The Urban List