To stand out in Brisbane City’s congested coffee scene, you have to have a few things going for you. Good coffee is a no brainer. If the brew is blah, word will spread. Convenience is also key. Peak coffee hours are between 7:00–10:00 am, either before work starts or a couple of hours into the work day, when most folks don’t have time to waste waiting in line for a double-shot flat white. Since February 2020, Anytime Coffee – a back-alley dispensary co-owned by Tom Cooney, Jack Wakefield and Scott Neville – has scored and maintained top marks in both metrics. Though tucked away off Mary Street in a laneway loading dock, Anytime has managed to accumulate a fiercely loyal pack of regulars, which is no mean feat considering The City shut down completely one month into Anytime’s existence. Though the formula for success is widely acknowledged, it’s not always easy to pull off – especially when location is often hammered home as a crucial variable. “We’re not necessarily on the way to anywhere, so you’ve got to make a bit of a special trip to come here,” Tom admits. “We focus on making coffee fantastic, but also having a really good vibe to make it worth finding this little hidden away gem – because it is hidden away, but it’s something that once you find it, you’re excited that it’s yours and you are a part of it.” With the coffee trade humming and the spectre of lockdowns in the rear-view, the Anytime crew is now taking stock making some new moves. “The big thing that we thought was, what would be the natural evolution of this place as we get a few years in?” says Tom. “What we noticed was that there are fantastic coffee shops in the CBD and there are fantastic sandwiches, but it’s pretty rare to find fantastic coffee and fantastic sandwiches in the same place.” Yep, you guessed it – Anytime is now serving sandwiches and the advance word is that they’re top notch.
To facilitate sandwich construction, the Anytime team has cut into its existing interior dining area to make room for a small kitchen space. Helming this kitchen is chef Shane Neilsen, who is using quality ingredients (including carbs from Danny’s Bread and protein from Rayner’s Meats) to execute a six-strong selection of made-to-order deli-style sandwiches boasting vibrant-yet-balanced flavours, courtesy of house-made aiolis and dressings. There’s a breakfast bap with baked omelette, gruyere, tarragon butter and chutney, a refreshingly crunchy salad sandwich with seasonal veg, avocado, mint, sunflower seeds and green dressing, a cold cut-packed deli sandwich with leg ham, salami cotto, capocollo, provolone, green olives and guindilla peppers, and a roast porchetta number with chutney, mustard and herb salad. These can be enjoyed with caffeine (supplied by Coffee Supreme, as usual) or a thirst-quenching house-made lemonade. Just like with its coffee, Anytime prides itself on nailing the basics. “You can do a lot with sandwiches with not that much – you can be a bit inventive and create something that’s very exciting with dressings and sauce,” says Tom. “The key is feeling nourished and satisfied. You want to feel like it’s a healthy experience, but still incredibly delicious.” The menu will remain largely static, barring some broad seasonal changes, with specials likely to be thrown in the mix on a regular basis. In addition to the boosted menu, a small aesthetic refresh courtesy of pal Emily Devers marks an exciting new chapter for one of The City’s best coffee spots. While Anytime started life as a well-kept secret, it’s unlikely that its sandwich offering will stay hush-hush for long. There’s no need to fear a long wait time, though – Anytime is still all about delivering the goods when time is precious. “We’re quite aware of people in the CBD needing to get in and out quickly,” says Tom. “This is not a place that’s designed for waiting 20 minutes for food – we know that you need to get in and out, so we’re prepared for that. We want it to be a really fun and fast experience.”
Anytime Coffee is open for coffee and eats between 7:00 am and 2:00 pm from Monday to Friday. Head to the Stumble Guide for more details.Jump to next article