When you catch whisper that a rad barista bar has opened in strolling distance of home, with one of the Coast’s original “good coffee” kids, Jeremy Lawnikanis at the helm, then you hunt it down. And fast.
Jeremy’s face might look familiar, and no, it’s not because he’s a dead ringer for a young Bradley Cooper or Tom Wlaschiha (AKA Jaqen H’ghar) from Game of Thrones fame, it’s because he’s worked his way around some of the Coast’s finest coffee haunts. Think: the early days of Blackboard, Canteen, Espresso Moto, and more recently, Paddock.
Gold Coast-raised, Jeremy has been at it since the ripe ol’ age of 14. While most of us hadn’t graduated from marshmallow-topped hot chocolates at that age, he’s been honing his craft for the past 12 years and felt the time had finally arrived to branch out with his own venture. So with that, say “ahoy” to Portside Coffee, Currumbin industrial estate’s freshest new coffee joint.
Rewinding again for a sec, Jeremy spent a year living in Australia’s coffee capital Melbourne, working at highly respected cafe Top Paddock, a venue that pumped out an insane 1,500 cups of joe daily. He’s a passionate traveller too! With highlights including Nepal, South America, and Canada (we merrily swapped Whistler stories), although it was a recent trip to Sweden, home to some of the world’s most revered roasters, that was the biggest inspiration for the look and feel of Portside Coffee.
When Melbourne-esque laneways are near impossible to come by on the Gold Coast, this posi, tucked almost out of view in Currumbin’s industrial estate, is probs the next best thing.
We’re digging the cool story behind the name, too. Jeremy reminds us that, after oil, coffee has been the world’s most tradable product; for centuries it was always transported by sea and when finally reaching its destination, coffee would be brewed portside. In seafarers’ terms, port is also the left side, and Jeremy likes to do things a little left-of-centre. Hence the nautical-slash-Scandi theme running through the décor and branding.
Portside Coffee is also the only Gold Coast barista bar to use Sensory Lab single-origin beans, and just one of two in Queensland. It was Jeremy’s fave brew when living in Melbourne so, it’s safe to say, for someone with a career so deeply ingrained in the coffee biz, he’s pretty pumped to be working his magic with these prized beans. Almost on par with his perfectionist view of a quality drop is his ethos towards top-notch service. He expects, and provides, nothing less. As far as cafes go, this one is intimate, and so naturally lends itself to being totally personable with his customers.
In addition to Currumbin Valley-sourced honey and natural spring water (the latter used in his high-grade “Storm In A Teacup” teas), Portside Coffee can help you out with some delish, homemade treats lovingly made by his mate’s mother. Or, if your belly is growling for something more substantial, you’re welcome to swing past neighbouring Panya Artisan Bakery or pick up an epic deep-dish pie from Fuel Bakehouse, enroute for your caffeine fix.
So folks, if you accept nothing but the finest brews, love hunting down off-the-beaten-track coffee gems, and get warm fuzzies knowing you’ve played a small part in fuelling the success of a local’s dream, then jump in the car and set your GPS for Portside Coffee, in one of the Gold Coast’s most unlikely up-and-coming hotspots—Currumbin’s industrial estate.
Open: Monday to Friday, 6am to 2pm; Saturday, 6am to noon; Sunday closed.
Where: Shop 4A/42 Currumbin Creek Road, Currumbin (the old Pop Taco site)
Photo Credit: Brooke Darling for Metropolist