Little sister to Corner Lane & Little Lane
New Lambton residents will be well acquainted with the two Lane cafes, Corner Lane Espresso and Little Lane Espresso, as well as their very own coffee brand, SMAK. For those of you who are yet to hear of the Lane family, you better listen in.
Bubbly couple, Graeme and Sarah, kicked off their coffee shops back in 2014 in their local area of New Lambton with Corner Lane Espresso. Before long, the couples second Lane came to life, with Little Lane opening up shop only a short skip, jump, and a hop away.
Doing coffee, and doing it well, residents of New Lambton have been well-caffeinated since 2014, so much so that people from all over Newcastle travel to the village feel suburb to pick up their good ole cup of joe. But we’ve all been waiting with bated breath for when shop no.3 would hit the streets; and where would it be!
It’s no surprise to hear that Sarah & Graeme decided on the newly booming suburb of Adamstown. Brunker Road is the newest hub of community-minded shop owners and coffee and foodie hotspots for all to enjoy.
“We didn’t go chasing this one. When we got here, I just sat out the front and watched the community going about their day and it just felt right. New Lambton is all about the community and that village feel, which is really important to us. So, wherever we go, we want to make sure that we’d fit,” Sarah explained.
Landing on the space, quite unexpectedly, right at the end of 2019, the pair had no chance of knowing they were due to be opening right in the middle of a global pandemic. But, hey, as you can see – it didn’t stop them!
“We thought, do we close the shops or do we not. Just like everyone else, we were stressed. We didn’t know from day to day, what was going to happen. We had those first two weeks that were really stressful, but we learned to stop reacting to the media and keep doing what we’re doing.
“We really wanted to be that shop in the community that people could still have an outlet to come too. Because at the end of the day, that’s what humans need. We need that interaction with other humans. We feel like our coffee shops served that purpose.
“We did have these crazy scenarios if we couldn’t open our shop, could we do home delivery coffees. Then we went, no no no; that is not us! If it gets to that, we will bow out gracefully. Thankfully it didn’t come to that!”
The small café space is sticking with the same quality service the Lane guys know how to do. The same machine, same coffee, same toasties, and the same friendly baristas we’ve all come to know and love! Oh, and how could I forget, they’re still sticking with the famous lane walls. Don’t know what they are?
The wall is Lane’s equivalent to a loyalty card. Get your name on the wall, and for every coffee you order, you’re one step closer to a FREE coffee! Eleven strokes and the coffee is on Lane.
Working once again with Stewart from Horton & Co, the space has a pared back colour palette with a very milk bar style of design. Although it’s another Lane venue, just like Corner Lane and Little Lane, Lane has its very own personality. This one’s a little sleeker, a little cooler, and even a little trendier.
“They all have a history and they’ve all had a life before us. Stewart works with all the little imperfections because he understands the space is what it is. We’re not all about the fancy fit out because, at the end of the day, it’s our customer service and our consistency in the product which is what we’re big advocates for. We love that we still get to present it with its own personality.”
Excited to be a part of the growing community here in the centre of Adamstown, Sarah and Graeme are thankful to be building relationships not only with the friendly customers swinging through their doors but with the other local cafes and shops on the street.
“It’s been really welcoming along the strip. Little Brown Wolf opened just before us, and they’ve been lovely. They’ve got a very different approach and their food is delicious.
“Pekarna has also been here for a long time, and when they closed for two weeks, we got a lot of their customers, but when they reopened, they went straight back. It was really nice to see that. There is a lot of loyalty in the area which is great, and we all do our own thing so there’s space for everyone. We think that for people to have a choice, actually brings more people,” Graeme said.
Chatting to Graeme and Sarah about the future plans for the Lane cafes, they assured me that this Lane would be the very last, for now at least.
“This is the end of the trilogy though. No more lanes!”
Focussing more on building up their roastery, SMAK, which is the coffee you’ll be drinking when you drop by any of the Lanes. If you’re a massive SMAK fan, you can pick up a bag of their beans in-store or order the House Blend online here.
I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again. Keep an eye on Brunker Road in Adamstown, I have a good feeling it might soon be Newcastle’s newest café hub.