Hardware Societe has closed

Published on 16 February 2021

Photo: Hardware Societe (credit: Visit Victoria

Bidding adieu to one of the pioneering cafes of the CBD.

First, the good news: this is not the end of the Hardware Societé – its Katherine Place premises will keep fighting the good fight. But last night owners Di and Will Keser posted the news to their Instagram account that the Hardware Lane café would be closing its doors indefinitely.

"Honestly, since reopening in October 2020, it’s been very, very hard," they wrote. "We have had to endure the loss of tourists, international students and office workers and we are fighting for our life right now. Lockdown 3.0 has been the last straw."

A small café with a very big reputation, Hardware Societé opened in 2009. Serving rich hot chocolate and good coffee, its Parisian sass and lavish breakfast options won it a devoted following. The Kesers divided their time between Melbourne and Paris, opening a Montmartre outlet in 2016. France was the central inspiration for Hardware Societé’s aesthetic and menu. Its croque madame was often described as the city’s finest.

The Kesers say they’re committed to making it through the pandemic and urged Melbourne diners to do their utmost to support local businesses and “avoid using delivery platforms”.

"Today our sales were $391.00, that’s about $10,000 less than an ordinary Monday," wrote Di. "I am sure many other hospitality businesses are suffering the same fate and are just too embarrassed to put it out there. It breaks my heart to say this aloud, but this is our truth."

Hardware Societé, 10 Katherine Pl, Melbourne, hardwaresociete.com.

By Pat Nourse

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