My day job has recently taken me out into the wilderness that is Ballarat (about 1.5 hours out of Melbourne for any visitors who might read this). On one of my jaunts to check out the local lunching establishments I found myself drawn to a very colourful looking cafe, complete with a row of pink flamingos out the front. Upon peering through the window I KNEW I had to stop in to investigate.
The Krooze in Cafe is on Main Road in Ballarat right near the University and IBM’s fancy new data centre. It’s filled to the brim with absolutly wonderful 50s retro diner-style furniture, and the colours are garish (in a good way) with pinups and 50′s throwback posters in every direction. There is a distinct Tiki flavour to the place too – a good sized bamboo shrine to the Tiki Gods grabs your attention as soon as you enter which is adorned with orignal exotica albums – Martin Denny and Les Baxter are on proud display.
The people here are salt-of-the-earth friendly kinda folk – while I was there I spent some time chatting with one of the owners, Alan, about Tiki, hotrodding, burlesque and pin-ups (part of your complete breakfast of retro-cool pop culture!). This place should definitely form a key part of any road trip for retro/tiki/hotrod types venturing out into the wilds of Victoria. It’s a place where you can curl up and relax with a retro book or magazine under a beautiful SHAG print on some incredibly comfortable 50s couches and sip away on a coffee or hot chocolate with some nice, tasty and honest diner-style food. This place is definitely worth a bit of a look-in.